Farm report: Montana to lose millions to climate change

Friday, March 4, 2016
Tom Lutey

Montana agriculture losses to climate change could total $736 million a year, estimates an economic study prepared for Montana Farmers Union.

Warmer temperatures and drier summers are withering the future of Montana spring wheat, a major cash crop for state farmers, according to the report released Wednesday.

Over time, those changing conditions will cost the state $372 million on labor earnings due to 12,167 jobs lost to declined production. Range land losses due to dry conditions and changing plant life, will cut labor earnings related to cattle production by $364 million, and job losses similar to those for grain.

“As far as most of us are concerned, it’s already happening and we’re trying to figure out how to make money with what’s already happening and stay in business,” said Erik Somerfeld, and MFU member who farms in the Golden Triangle of north central Montana.

See more at the Billings Gazette