“Though critics are dubious, in a new 5-year plan the agency addresses weather disasters that have battered American farms and specifically mentions climate change.”
“After three years of sidelining climate change research and thinning its roster of scientists, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new five-year scientific plan this week to help American farmers cope with the worsening effects of the climate crisis.
The “USDA Science Blueprint” was unveiled at a conference Wednesday by Scott Hutchins, a former pesticide industry executive who heads the agency's research divisions. The plan, intended to guide “USDA's science priorities,” lays out a broad agenda across a range of areas, from soil health to weather impacts on agriculture to data collection, and specifically mentions climate change.
The new plan, welcomed by advocacy groups and the industry, represents a hopeful sign that the agency will realign its research priorities, especially in the wake of a series of weather disasters that have battered American farms and cost billions.”