proj visual large without line 
Western Region
November 7, 2013
Upcoming LPELC Webinars
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center


western map highlighted


Welcome to the Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate Western Region Web Letter. Scroll down for current news and relevant information regarding agriculture and climate change that you might have missed. 


Do you have or know of any regional efforts that should be highlight and shared? Please inform Liz Whitefield at e.whitefield@wsu.edu 

Global supply of phosphorus used for crop fertilizer could be exhausted in as little as 40 years.

The Phosphorus Trilemma (Nature Commentary, November 2013) Excerpt: Discontent over soaring food prices has revitalized interest in food production, and raised awareness of the issues around dwindling phosphorus supplies. According to an emerging consensus, scarcities in phosphorus supplies and temporary constraints in accessibility will lead to marked rises in the cost of phosphorus. For instance, when China introduced an export ban on minerals including phosphorus in 2008, the global price of phosphorus rose 50% faster than the price of any of the main staple crops. 
Of Interest

Producing more with less (Feedstuffs, October 31)
By 2050, agricultural output will have to double to keep pace with population growth, changing diets and increasing demand, and the most effective way of doing this is by increasing total factor productivity (TFP). TFP increases when outputs rise while inputs remain constant. A new "Global Agricultural Productivity" (GAP) report from the Global Harvest Initiative, a consortium of major companies seeking a private-sector voice in the call for productivity growth throughout the supply chain, provides a snapshot of agricultural productivity growth measured against growth in global population and food demand... 


Global food security is threatened by the emergence and spread of crop pests and pathogens. Spread is facilitated primarily by human transportation, but there is increasing concern that climate change allows establishment in hitherto unsuitable regions. However, interactions between climate change, crops and pests are complex, and the extent to which crop pests and pathogens have altered their latitudinal ranges in response to global warming is largely unknown.



USAID program to develop disease-resistant chickens (Feedstuffs, October 31) A new program that will identify genes crucial for breeding chickens that can tolerate hot climates and resist infectious diseases - specifically the devastating Newcastle disease - has been launched under the leadership of the University of California-Davis. The global economic impact of virulent Newcastle disease is enormous. The project is particularly important for Africa, where infectious diseases annually cause approximately 750 million poultry deaths. The new effort, called the "Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry," aims to dramatically increase chicken production among Africa's rural households and small farms, advancing food security, human nutrition and personal livelihoods.



Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters and Communities (PNW Chapter Report of the US National Climate Assessment, November 4) Communities assesses the current state of knowledge about key climate impacts and consequences to various sectors and communities in the Pacific Northwest, including projected impacts on: PNW climate, Hydrology and water supply, Coasts and oceans, Forest ecosystems, Agriculture, Human health, and Northwest Tribes. The 271-page report, which draws on the expertise of dozens of scientists and subject-matter experts within the region.

California officials on Thursday released a five-year "Water Action Plan" intended to avoid a statewide water supply crisis stemming from drought, population growth and climate change.John Laird, secretary of the state Natural Resources Agency, acknowledged that the plan does not include a lot of new ideas. Rather, the goal is to integrate existing ideas about water supply and conservation and get disparate state agencies working together. 
Climate Change in the News
UN highlights role of farming in closing emissions gap  (BBC, November 5)

Changing farming practices could play an important role in averting dangerous climate change says the UN.In their annual emissions report, they measure the difference between the pledges that countries have made to cut warming gases and the targets required to keep temperatures below 2C.On present trends there is likely to be an annual excess of 8 to 12 gigatonnes of these gases by 2020...(To put it in context, 12 gigatonnes is about 80% of all the emissions coming from all the power plants in the world right now. )... Agriculture, they say, could make a significant difference to the gap.


Executive Order- Preparing the US for the Impacts of Climate Change (The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, November 1)

President Barack Obama signed an executive order last Friday directing federal agencies to take a series of steps aimed at helping local communities "strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change." "The impacts of climate change - including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise - are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation," the executive order said.It added that "the Federal Government must build on recent progress and pursue new strategies to improve the Nation's preparedness and resilience."

Upcoming Webinars and Events

The sixth annual Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit will be held during the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. Sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, this timely program will provide viewpoints from top industry experts on sustainability and on sharing our sustainable story, as well as how to engage consumers and the public. The two-day program is $150 for all registered Expo attendees.
Midwest and Great Plains Drought Webinar (Nov 21, 2013 11AM PST, NIDIS) Must pre-register for the webinar by clicking on the link above. 
Register and find out more information at: www.AnimalAgClimateChange.org
Know of anyone who should receive this email? Please contact:

Liz Whitefield
Washington State University
Livestock Nutrient Management Program