Local farmers, scientists weigh in on climate change report

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Locals who work in agriculture are weighing in on whether or not global warming is impacting the state's number one industry.

"I think we are fine, everything has its cycles," said Farmer, Bruce Marlowe.

Bruce Marlowe has been in the farming business since 1950. As far as he can tell, when it comes to global warming, there's nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to getting your food out of the ground and onto your table.

"And compare 50's to today - there is no difference. We have our good years and our bad years," said Marlowe.

Marlowe said the flooding and droughts some attribute to global warming have been issues farmers have faced since farming has been around.

"You have periods, I have seen so dry you couldn't get nothing, you had to stop planting - things just wasn't germinating," said Marlowe.

Several other farmers who share Marlowe's opinion.

But on the flip side, local scientists said they can see global warming already at work, and are working on ways to make sure crops stay productive in the midst of rising temperatures.

"We are going to be potentially be subject to whole crop failures if we don't adapt, if our agriculture isn't prepared," said Matt Smith of the Clemson University Pee Dee and Research Center.

Matt Smith is a professor and Director of Clemson University's Pee Dee and Research Education Center.

Smith said South Carolina's crops can be affected by temperatures, if they are too hot at the wrong time.

"A lot of crops are sensitive, very sensitive, to temperatures at specific times in their production cycle, like when they're going through pollination. So if it gets hot too soon during that time the yield may be terribly reduced," said Smith.

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