2019 GLISA Small Grant: Using Impact Scenarios and Dialogue to Enhance the Climate Resilience of Organic Dry Bean Production Systems in Michigan

Funded by 2019 GLISA Small Grants Competition

Project Summary

Increasingly erratic weather due to climate change is causing more uncertainty and expanding risk for Michigan farmers. However, climate risk is not equal across cropping systems. Pulse crops, like dry beans, are expected to be relatively resilient under projected climate changes due to their genetic diversity, developmental flexibility, C3 photosynthesis, and capacity for nitrogen fixation. Michigan is the second-largest producer of dry edible beans in the U.S. and research suggests Michigan may be a ‘climate haven’ for dry beans where climate risk is low and dry bean production may even benefit. There will likely be barriers to growers capitalizing on climate change, such as variable precipitation and more frequent summer droughts. This project aims to help the Michigan dry bean industry understand and adapt to climate change by developing climate impact scenarios in three phases: 1) a needs assessment with industry stakeholders; 2) modeling and impact scenario development; and 3) presentation of a scenario report and potential adaptation strategies to industry stakeholders for evaluation. With this information, the Michigan dry bean industry will be better equipped to leverage climate change for the benefit of the entire value chain, consumers, and environment. Deliverables include four stakeholder meetings in the geographic centers of Huron, Kent, Alpena, and Delta counties and climate scenarios for each region in Michigan based on UW-RegCM4 model projections.

Project Accomplishments

  • Four stakeholder meetings in the Michigan geographic centers of Huron, Kent, Alpena, and Delta counties
  • Climate scenarios for each region in Michigan based on UW-RegCM4 model projections

GLISA Contribution

GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and is partnering with the grantee to develop climate impact scenarios focusing on changes in key environmental variables that affect dry bean production in four regions across Michigan by mid-century. GLISA will interpret the climate information and scenarios through participation in consulting meetings with stakeholders in the dry bean industry. 

Project Partners

  • MSU Extension and AgBioResearch (grantee)
  • MSU Department of Plant, Soil, & Micro Sciences
  • MSU Bean Breeding and Genetics Laboratory

GLISA Contact

Omar Gates, Climatologist, gateso@umich.edu


Related Engagements: