Climate Change and the Amaryllidaceae Family
Although climate change does or soon will affect most plants, its effects will impact the Amaryllidaceae family a lot. Take onions for example: the second largest onion producer in the world, India, has already noticed some serious problems with unpredictable weather and a greater number of fungus infestations. A test done in the Pune district of India shows very different weather patterns including heavier rains, drought, and monsoons much earlier in the year. Some farmers have tried preventions to these issues such as drip irrigation and earlier harvests but the forces of climate change need a solution.
And a possible solution involves another member of the Amaryllidaceae family and a very common farm animal: garlic and cows. Cows are a large producer of methane, a gas that is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide on the lines of holding heat in. This is credited to a bacterium inside their stomach that allows methane to be released when they digest food. However, studies show that when fed garlic, the cows’ bacteria seems to slow down, not producing as much methane. Some farmers in India and around the world have realized this and started raising cattle on their farms. The answer to the onion farmers’ plea to stop climate change begins with a crop that is similar to that which they live off.