Climate change is going to drive meaningful impacts in agricultural productivity, WSU’s Chad Kruger recently told the state House Environment and Energy Committee.

Kruger, Director of the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources, revealed data comparing the current agricultural ecological zones in the Inland Northwest region to where they are projected to be mid-century. WSU researchers have presented wheat producers’ data to promote understanding of the anticipated changes, which include increased variability of crop yields.

Irrigation pattern changes are anticipated as well, Kruger told members of the committee meeting last week. “The focus is, if the future is not what the past was, we need better mechanisms to help our producers figure out what a resilient plan looks like.” Kruger further compared WSU’s findings to other areas in the nation that currently demonstrate a similar climate to the projection. “[Washington State] will look a lot more like the northern parts of California.” Kruger noted.

The House Environment and Energy Committee is considering several bills this session aimed at climate resiliency. Kruger’s full presentation to the committee can be viewed below.