Agriculture

Urban agriculture helps to address local food insecurity issues in cities and suburban areas. Growing food in cities can take the form of backyard, roof-top and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks (sometimes spanning several city blocks), roadside urban fringe agriculture, livestock grazing in open space and intensive indoor hydroponic or aquaculture facilities. Urban agriculture eases access to food, reconnects communities to the practice of growing food, and engages the community on a variety of levels. This fast-growing phenomenon has the potential to nourish the health and social fabric of communities, improve the physical landscape and create economic opportunities for farmers and neighborhoods. Although the urban agriculture movement is gaining momentum, it also comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

Changes in climate and extreme weather have already occurred and are increasing challenges for urban agriculture. Many of the impacts are expected to intensify in the future. Over the past century, temperatures have risen across all seasons, growing seasons have become longer, precipitation patterns have changed, and extreme precipitation events have increased in frequency and severity. Because of the sensitivity of agriculture to weather and climate conditions, these impacts can have substantial direct and indirect effects on farm production and profitability.

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Cover page to the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit

This toolkit lays out the common operational elements that most urban farmers must consider as they start up or grow their operations. It also contains a special section on resources for developing indoor growing operations, such as aquaponic facilities. For each element, the...

USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit

Aquaponics System at UDC

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   The University of the District of Columbia showcases an urban food hub at the East Capitol Urban Farm and helps address food security issues. Food security will continue to be a challenge...

UDC Urban Farm

Urban agriculture helps to address local food insecurity issues in cities and suburban areas. Growing food in cities can take the form of backyard, roof-top and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks (sometimes spanning several city blocks), roadside...

Urban Agriculture

The challenges facing specialty livestock are similar to what is experienced by larger livestock (swine, cattle): the ability to produce feed-grain, the quality of pastures and forage crop production, animal health, growth, and reproduction, and disease and pest distributions....

Specialty Animals

Red oak tree leafing out in spring

The visualization tool provides an online map-based interface for USA National Phenology Network data observations collected across the United States. Users can explore recent trends for species seasonal changes or phenophases (e.g., flowering, hatching), as they relate to...

USA National Phenology Network Visualization Tool

The changing climate presents challenges and opportunities for U.S. agricultural production, forest resources, and rural economies. These threats have significant implications not just for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, but for all Americans. Land managers across the...

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Rockaways Boardwalk

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   As the climate continues to warm, both the rainfall intensity and total amount of rainfall from large storms are projected to increase. Hurricane Sandy is just one example of how these...

Building Resiliency at the Rockaways

Changes in climate and extreme weather have already occurred and are increasing challenges for agriculture nationally and globally. Many of the impacts are expected to continue or intensify in the future. Because of the sensitivity of agriculture to weather and climate...

Agriculture in a Changing Climate

Useful to Usable

The suite of decision-support tools was a product of this effort to help producers make better long-term decisions on what, when and where to plant, and how to manage crops for maximum yields and minimum environmental damage. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) was a...

Useful to Useable (U2U)

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