A federal report predicts the Midwest will be greatly impacted by future climate changes which will be as expensive as they are damaging.

The report from the Government Accountability Office says the federal government has spent more than $350-billion in the last ten years on floods, drought and other natural disasters.

Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman says his group’s members are concerned and they’re ready to act.

“Agriculture is in the position to help in this situation if we find a good structure that can incentivize good practices for farmers so it’s a win-win for everybody,” Lehman says. “We think the time is now to address climate change.”

He says agriculture has a significant role to play in helping battle the impacts of climate change.

“Good conservation practices often are the practices that also are going to move us in the right direction regarding climate change,” Lehman says. “There are opportunities there for agriculture to play a positive role in this.”

Federal lawmakers need to help ag producers deal with those issues, according to Lehman.

“We have a huge stake in making sure we address this and a valuable role in addressing it in the right way,” he says. “They can be practical solutions and at the same time be creating good opportunities here in rural America.”

The report says the cost of climate change could reach $35-billion a year by 2050.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton