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Panel discusses climate change and farming.

As one of the most climate-dependent businesses in the state, Washington farmers have a lot to lose as the climate changes toward fluctuating temperatures and more extreme weather events.

That's why a group of Washington's most innovative producers are joining university researchers, natural resource conservationists, and advocates for agriculture to assess the risks and potential opportunities presented by global climate change.

The Agricultural Working Group on Climate Change Mitigation met for the first time last month to explore impacts on growing conditions, crop yields, commodity prices and input costs.

"Our research on global climate change points to some serious areas of concern for Washington's agriculture economy," said panel co-leader Chad Kruger of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University in a press release. "The benefits of a longer, warmer growing season may be outweighed by reductions in available water for irrigation."

Washington's 33,000 farmers produced $6.7 billion in agriculture products in 2006. The state's food and agriculture industry is estimated to employ 160,000 workers and generate $34 billion in sales.
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Title Annotation:THE BUZZ: Tips, rumors & miscellaneous pieces of business information
Publication:Bellingham Business Journal
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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