Water Management

Farmers, ranchers and foresters in some regions of the U.S. contend with an overabundance of water while other regions are frequently challenged by drought and water scarcity. The 100th meridian is often touted as the dividing line between the wet eastern United States and the dry, water-limited west. Projected changes in average annual precipitation show increases in much of the northern U.S. and decreases in the southern U.S., exacerbating the water-related challenges already faced in these areas. For example, an increase in spring precipitation may reduce the number of workable field days, reduce crop yields and disrupt planting operations in wetter regions. Extreme precipitation has generally increased and is projected to continue to increase across the U.S. with a warming atmosphere. Flooding related to more extreme precipitation could impact agricultural production and surface water quality as nutrient concentrations and sediment loads are washed from fields into nearby waterways.  More extreme precipitation could also increase climate risk from aging water infrastructure.

An image describing the components used to build Grass-Cast.

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge – trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. An innovative Grassland Productivity Forecast or Grass-Cast published its first forecast on May 22, 2018 to help...

Grass-Cast: Grassland Productivity Forecast

Irrigation lines at Intervale Community Farm

An Economic Case Study at Intervale Community Farm After severe drought in much of the Northeast in 2016, the following summer reminded us that the trend in the Northeast is for more rainfall. However, this rain is more often occurring in heavy downpours between periods of hot...

Irrigation Pays in Protecting Crop Revenues

Hard engineering gully stabilization

Rainfall intensity is increasing in the Northeastern U.S., and stabilizing gullies is one strategy that can be used to protect against erosion. The Doyle-Burrs own a 272 acre family farm in Addison County, Vermont. The property had been a dairy farm for over 140 years, before ...

Economics of Gully Erosion and Stabilization

An aerial overview of plots participating in USDA-ARS Farming Systems Project in Beltsville, Maryland

Mid-Atlantic corn and soybean yields show great variability in response to precipitation during critical growth stages. Long-term agricultural research provides unique insights into the impact of climate and weather on agricultural sustainability. The USDA-ARS Farming Systems...

USDA ARS Farming Systems Project

Oyster Castles scene from Living Shorelines virtual tour

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   Sea levels are rising, and storm intensity and rainfall are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy showed the state of New Jersey the power of...

Living Shorelines

Cover image to Adaptation Resources for Agricultire

Changes in climate and extreme weather are already increasing challenges for agriculture. This technical bulletin was developed specifically to meet the unique needs of agricultural producers, and provide educators and service providers in the Midwest and Northeast regions of...

Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast

Photo by Rachel Schattman

This webinar series builds on capacity within USDA to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. Browse below for a list of archived events, and learn about upcoming, new webinars by joining our quarterly e-newsletter....

Northeast Climate Hub Webinar Series

Screenshot from Farming & Climate Change: Edgewater Farm

Extreme weather is the new normal for farming in the Northeast In this USDA Climate Hub-funded video series produced by the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, hear how three successful organic farmers in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are adapting their farming...

Adapting to Climate Change: New England Farmers

This field guide is designed to put useful climate change and adaptation information into the hands of natural resource professionals as they walk through the woods. This field guide provides summary information about the effects of climate change on northern Minnesota’s forests...

Climate Change Field Guide for Northern Minnesota Forests: Site-level considerations and adaptation

Subscribe to Water Management