Risk Perceptions and Adaptation to Climate Variability: Survey Evidence from Maple Syrup Farmers
There is a rising concern that climate change is affecting maple syrup production in North America. Against this backdrop, we have conducted a survey to better understand the risk perceptions and vulnerability of maple farmers regarding the impact of climate change on maple syrup production. Survey responses indicate that a majority of maple farmers are concerned that anomalous variations in temperature relating to climate change have already affected the length and time of the tapping season. Many of them believe that the quantity and quality of maple sap are adversely affected as a result of climate change. About one third of our sample respondents have missed the first sap flow of the season in recent years which usually produces the highest quality maple syrup. Our study also investigates risk averting behavior in response to climate induced risk faced by maple farmers. While we find relatively lower demand for risk information (reliable long range weather forecasting) and for formal crop insurance program, a majority of respondents would prefer diversifying their income earning activities in response to this risk. We discuss policy implications of our findings.
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