Skip to main content

Purdue-led USDA project aims to double impact of climate-smart Corn Belt agriculture

field of tall growing corn under sun

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is leading a $1.5 million partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Midwest Climate Hub to help a highly diverse group of farmers and landowners in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa learn what practices will help them elude the worst effects of climate change.

The Integrated Midwest Partnerships for Actionable Climate Tools and Training project, or IMPACT2, is funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Purdue’s partners in the project are Iowa State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

IMPACT2 will complement the Purdue-led, USDA-funded $10 million Diverse Corn Belt Project, which was launched in 2021. That project explores how diversifying crop production will make farms and farmers in the Midwest more resilient to the impacts of climate change and other challenges facing farming.

A major project goal is reaching and serving a widely diverse audience across the Corn Belt including long-time and beginning farmers who operate large or small farms devoted to corn, soybeans, or vegetables. The IMPACT2 team will offer some scenario-based activities to these diverse stakeholders in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa to help them envision a different future.

“What does that look like? And what support from Extension do they need? What type of information do they need to help answer questions that those scenarios bring up?” said Linda Prokopy, professor and head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture in Purdue’s College of Agriculture.

The team aims to reach at least 2,000 stakeholders via an online portal and deliver training to 500 or more farmer producers and landowners.  

Co-leading the project for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are Trent Ford, the Illinois state climatologist, and Duane Friend, state master naturalist and climate change specialist at Illinois Extension. And bringing additional expertise are Purdue co-leaders Beth Hall, Indiana state climatologist; Melissa Widhalm and Austin Pearson of the Midwest Regional Climate Center; and Aaron Thompson, associate professor of horticulture and landscape architecture. Project co-leaders from Purdue Extension are conservation agronomist Hans Schmitz and beginning farmers coordinator Amy Thompson.

Read the full release from Purdue University.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.