As the climate changes, so does agriculture.

Soybean crop

With rising temperatures and new weather patterns, yields are down for soybean farmers in many southern parts of the U.S. But in New York, the crop is flourishing, so some farmers are growing soybeans instead of oats or black and kidney beans.

Bill Cox, professor of soil and crop sciences at Cornell University, says there are now more than 300,000 acres of soybeans in New York.

COX: “It’s been a 15-fold increase since 1980, and a seven or eight-fold increase since 1990.”

Bill Cox
Bill Cox

Cox says government programs and better awareness have contributed to this increase – but a longer growing season and later fall frosts have also been important factors – especially in northern and western parts of the state.

COX: “We used to get frost early to mid-September. Now it’s more mid-September to October first.”

Cox says this allows farmers in the Finger Lakes region, for example, to grow soybean varieties that require a longer growing season and provide bigger yields.

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And because soybeans are relatively low-maintenance, they’re especially attractive to farmers who want to adapt – and profit – as New York’s climate warms.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Soybean crop photo: Copyright protected.

More Resources
New York soybean growth gets a boost from climate change
Northeast Is Become Soybean Growing Country
Climate change costing soybean farmers


Erika Street Hopman

Erika Street Hopman is co-founder of ChavoBart Digital Media, an audio and video production firm with a focus on scientific and environmental media. ChavoBart Digital Media contributes original reporting,...