While farm numbers have declined by over 7 percent across the United States, Alaska has seen a 44 percent increase between 2007 and 2017. The state relies primarily on imported goods, and many have embraced the idea of growing and shopping locally following recent disruptions to the supply chain. Both COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine have greatly impacted the state’s ability to reliably import goods, making now a perfect time for Alaskans to start growing their own food.
Though there are several contributors to this influx in Alaskan farms, perhaps the largest is climate change. Global warming has caused temperatures to increase by an average of 3 degrees Fahrenheit across the state over the past 60 years, resulting in an extended growing season. While global warming has mostly negatively affected the state, a more viable growing season is proving to be one of its few upsides. Still, more research is needed to determine which hybrids work under these new growing circumstances to maximize harvests.
The affordability of land in Alaska is also responsible for the farming boom. Alaska is the largest state in the country and its farmland is among the cheapest, providing ample opportunity for those looking to operate their own small-scale farm. However, eager farmers are finding themselves competing with developers for available land.
The increase in farms also caused Alaskans to prioritize buying local. In 2005, only 13 farmers markets operated across the giant state. Today there are 56 dotting Alaska – the most there’s ever been. Alaskans are hopeful that continued research and investment in local agriculture will help ensure food security.
To read the full story, go here: https://dailyyonder.com/as-temperatures-rise-farms-are-sprouting-in-alaska/2022/07/25/