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Future temperature and soil moisture may alter location of agricultural regions

17 October 2017

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Future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

These future conditions will cause an overall increase in the area suitable to support rainfed agriculture within dryland areas. Increases are projected in North America, western Asia, eastern Asia and South America. In contrast, suitable areas are projected to decline in European dryland areas.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Image credit: Terry Sohl, USGS - Dryland agriculture in the Northwestern Great Plains ecoregion.