Lessons to be taken from 2,000 dead cattle

It’s been a tough row to hoe to get farmers to accept the science. But the work is showing results. Last year, an Iowa State University poll showed Midwest farmers overwhelmingly — 80% — believe climate change is real.

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Editorials

June 23, 2022 - 4:26 PM

Excessive heat and humidity were cited in the death of thousands of cattle in Kansas feedlots this month. CENTRALDAILY.COM/ABBY DREV/TNS

Extreme weather conditions that caused thousands of cattle to perish in Kansas feedlots this past weekend may or may not have been caused by climate change. Either way, it seems farmers in that region are beginning to believe the science alerting them to long-term climate trends. And that’s good news for all of us.

Kansas State University climatologist Xiaomao Lin spends a significant amount of time talking with Kansas farmers about climate change. The farmers “will challenge us, because that’s what they do,” said Lin, who is also the state’s official climatologist. But they are also adjusting the way they farm because of climate change, he said.

Maybe the farmers and cattle ranchers are realizing they can’t afford not to trust the science-supported warnings from Lin and other experts: Unless they make adjustments, climate change will greatly diminish their livelihood, Lin said.

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