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Florida's Climate: Changes, Variations, & Impacts - Chap. 8: Climate Change Impacts and Adap

In this chapter, we describe Florida’s agriculture, the vulnerability of its crops and livestock to climate change and possible adaptation strategies. Much of Florida’s agricultural success is linked to its moderate climate, which allows vegetable and fruit crop production during the winter/spring season as well as the production of perennial crops such as citrus and sugarcane. In addition, there is a substantial livestock industry that uses the extensive perennial grasslands. While rising CO2 is generally beneficial to crop production but detrimental to nutritional quality, increase in temperature will cause mostly negative effects on yield. Florida’s agriculture faces additional challenges from climate change characterized by sea level rise and intensified extreme climate events, affecting land and irrigation water availability, livestock productivity and pest and disease pressure. New technologies and adaptation strategies are needed for sustainable agricultural production in Florida, including increased water and nutrient use efficiency in crops, crop and livestock breeding for heat stress, pest and disease resistance and reduced exposure of livestock to high temperature. Irrigation is a favored adaptation, but places an even greater burden or potential conflict between agriculture and community use of water resources.

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