Warmer temps impact local crops - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Warmer temps impact local crops

Posted: Updated:

"We're getting hotter, longer, warmer heat waves, that's going to be the real problem."

Scott Heckathorn and his team are racing to find answers for how plants react to heat.  He's watched them adapt over just generations and says you can see it, too.

"So spring's about a week earlier.  And fall is about a week later," Heckathorn said.  "So here in the U.S. we already have a growing season that's about two weeks longer than it was a hundred years ago...You don't have to be a scientist to notice that."

Two extra weeks to the growing season doesn't sound so bad.  In theory, you'd get more production.  But pollinators like bees aren't necessarily out this early.  The plant diseases are expected to pop up on our cash crops, Heckathorn said.

"In general, the plants that are really going to take it on the chin are going to be trees.  Trees don't handle heat waves well, especially when we get a little bit of drought.  And on average, the bigger the tree, the harder they fall."

The summer of 2012 was a prime example.  That's year's heat and drought caused a die-off of old trees around Toledo.  He tests that in the lab, even during the brutal winter.

"We can control everything, we can control the temperature, the day length, we can control humidity, we can control the level of CO2 in the chamber."

One of our biggest crops is winter wheat.  It's really struggled in the cold but that may not be the only issue.  If winters warm, it messes with the plant's signals to go to sleep or wake up.

"So winter wheat's going to be affected strongly... Most of our plants will be affected in one way or another," Heckathorn said.  "Most of them will adapt but in terms of farmers, many farmers maybe farming different crops in the future in Ohio."

  • LocalMore>>

  • Springfield Twp. tries donating old dump to Habitat for Humanity

    Springfield Twp. tries donating old dump to Habitat for Humanity

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:04:49 GMT
    The 13abc I-Team investigated the property and uncovered it was the focus of a lawsuit and there are still Ohio EPA restrictions. 
    The 13abc I-Team investigated the property and uncovered it was the focus of a lawsuit and there are still Ohio EPA restrictions. 

  • Blade Briefing: Toledo house on “Dead Files”

    Blade Briefing: Toledo house on “Dead Files”

    You've seen the shows that investigate paranormal activity in homes and buildings. Now one of them is featuring a house right here in Toledo. Kirk Baird of The Toledo Blade joins us with a preview.
  • Riverdale teacher accused of child endangering resigns from district

    Riverdale teacher accused of child endangering resigns from district

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:02:00 GMT
    The Riverdale School teacher caught on camera being physical with a student has resigned. Superintendent Eric Hoffman tells 13abc he received Barb Williams’ resignation letter Friday. Hoffman will not release the letter at this time. He tells 13abc he will give the letter to the school board Monday at its meeting where the board is expected to formally act on the resignation. Hoffman would only say the letter says she will resign immediately.
    The Riverdale School teacher caught on camera being physical with a student has resigned. Superintendent Eric Hoffman tells 13abc he received Barb Williams’ resignation letter Friday. Hoffman will not release the letter at this time. He tells 13abc he will give the letter to the school board Monday at its meeting where the board is expected to formally act on the resignation. Hoffman would only say the letter says she will resign immediately.
  • RegionalMore>>

  • Ohio State University fires marching band director

    Ohio State University fires marching band director

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:05:53 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.Jonathan Waters had led the band since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade.
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University has fired the director of its celebrated marching band amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues" including sexual harassment.Jonathan Waters had led the band since 2012, and served in lesser capacities for a decade.
  • Ohio testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus

    Ohio testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:04 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:04:41 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state of Ohio is again testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus after the program became a victim of federal budget cuts last year.
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state of Ohio is again testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus after the program became a victim of federal budget cuts last year.
  • Insurers owe more than $1.2M in refunds in Ohio

    Insurers owe more than $1.2M in refunds in Ohio

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:12:33 GMT
    Federal officials say around 35,000 Ohioans will benefit from more than $1.2 million in refunds from insurance companies because of a provision in President Barack Obama's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday.
    Federal officials say around 35,000 Ohioans will benefit from more than $1.2 million in refunds from insurance companies because of a provision in President Barack Obama's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday.

Weather: Home | Forecast | Radar | Cams

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Springfield Twp. tries donating old dump to Habitat for Humanity

    Springfield Twp. tries donating old dump to Habitat for Humanity

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:04:49 GMT
    The 13abc I-Team investigated the property and uncovered it was the focus of a lawsuit and there are still Ohio EPA restrictions. 
    The 13abc I-Team investigated the property and uncovered it was the focus of a lawsuit and there are still Ohio EPA restrictions. 

  • Riverdale teacher accused of child endangering resigns from district

    Riverdale teacher accused of child endangering resigns from district

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:02:00 GMT
    The Riverdale School teacher caught on camera being physical with a student has resigned. Superintendent Eric Hoffman tells 13abc he received Barb Williams’ resignation letter Friday. Hoffman will not release the letter at this time. He tells 13abc he will give the letter to the school board Monday at its meeting where the board is expected to formally act on the resignation. Hoffman would only say the letter says she will resign immediately.
    The Riverdale School teacher caught on camera being physical with a student has resigned. Superintendent Eric Hoffman tells 13abc he received Barb Williams’ resignation letter Friday. Hoffman will not release the letter at this time. He tells 13abc he will give the letter to the school board Monday at its meeting where the board is expected to formally act on the resignation. Hoffman would only say the letter says she will resign immediately.
  • Now Open: Billy V’s Bar

    Now Open: Billy V’s Bar

    There's a new family-oriented bar in Toledo.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!