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Agriculture chief says climate change already hurting agriculture; unveils new 'climate hubs'

WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he's convinced the effects of climate change have already had a negative impact on agriculture and forestry in the U.S.

Vilsack is citing the intensity and frequency of recent storms, plus droughts, snowstorms and subzero weather. He says the nation must play an active role in preparing for climate change.

Vilsack spoke at the White House as the Obama administration announced it is creating seven regional hubs to help co-ordinate and distribute information about the effects of climate change.

The hubs will be based at Agriculture Department facilities. They'll assess local climate risks, such as drought and wildfire, then develop plans for dealing with them.

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