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What Specialty Crops Might Thrive in the Northwest in the Future?

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Specialty crop production, like virtually all agricultural systems across the region, will be challenged by climate change. Over the coming decades, the Northwest is projected to see warmer winters, longer growing seasons, and more growing degree days each year. These changes could mean once-too-cool Northwest farmlands will be suitable for growing warmer-climate crops. We describe a study looking at how suitability for certain specialty crops might change in the future. Almonds may thrive along the Snake River south of Nampa, ID in the coming decades thanks to less frost damage, while Cabernet Sauvignon may expand as far north as the Okanagan Valley of north-central Washington owing to longer and warmer summers. Read more details on


Lauren Parker
Univ. of California, Davis
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Washington State University