PhD Candidate, Earth & Environmental Science, Social Science Consortium
University of Missouri – Kansas City, MO
Abigail investigates Missouri farmers’ perceptions of climate change and variability in relation to their adoption of adaptation strategies. It examines the similarities and differences in on-farm and off-farm adaptation behavior between farmers who have a perception of climate change occurring and farmers who have a perception of climate change not occurring. Furthermore, we analyze the diffusion of financial risk management instruments among farmers in Missouri.
Results from the study reveal that farmers tend to remember their experiences of extreme weather events such as flood and drought; they however cannot, with certainty, link these experiences to the changing trends of temperature and precipitation. Additionally, farmers’ climate change perceptions do not seem to have impact on their adaptation behavior.
This research holds value for policy makers because it adopts a bottom-up approach that provides an understanding of the farmers’ perspective which is vital for decision making in the face of predicted increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events that have cascading effects on agricultural production and food security across local, regional and global scales. It also provides insight for improving communicating climate science to stakeholders in the agricultural sector.