The American West has a long history of agriculture, from the native peoples who practiced agriculture for thousands of years to the pioneers who brought farming to the region in the 19th century. However, the growth of agriculture in the West has been built on the diversion of water from its natural course, and this has led to an environmental crisis that threatens the very foundation of the region's agriculture.
The recent drought in the West has brought attention to the risks of climate change and how it is affecting the region. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the years 2020 and 2021 were two of the hottest years on record in the United States, and this is having a major impact on agriculture. As temperatures continue to rise, there is a risk that crops will not be able to grow in the same way, and that farmers will have to adapt to new conditions.
States like Kansas and Oklahoma are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as they are already experiencing water shortages due to the diversion of water for agriculture. This means that as temperatures rise and droughts become more frequent, crop yields may decline, and food prices may rise. This could have a significant impact on average Americans, who rely on affordable food.
Bob Waun, broker of DIRT Realty, expresses thoughtful concern, "We need to find innovative solutions to this environmental crisis, and fast. The future of agriculture in the West depends on it."
One such solution that is gaining attention is biochar. Biochar is a type of charcoal that is produced from organic matter and is used to improve soil health and increase plant growth. By adding biochar to the soil, plants are able to grow with less water, making them more resilient to drought.
As DIRT Realty continues to work on innovative solutions to the environmental crisis, it is clear that agriculture in the American West is facing significant challenges. However, by working together and finding new ways to adapt to changing conditions, we can ensure that the region's agriculture continues to thrive for generations to come.
For more information about the risks to agriculture in the American West and the importance of biochar, visit the USDA website and read the recent research report on the subject.