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Helping Farmers Adapt

Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017 to Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Category: 
News

 

Adapted from November 28th, 2016 USDA blog post by Dan Dostie, 2015-2016 NRCS Project Liaison, USDA Northeast Climate Hub


A new USDA report Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast is out. This report provides educators and advisors information and resources to help farmers in the region increase their resilience to weather extremes and a changing climate. The report was developed by scientists, conservationists, and educators, and aims to demystify climate trends. It provides simple, usable resources for making climate-informed decisions.


These new resources can help extension educators, agricultural advisors, and conservationists improve education and adaptation assistance programs. This will better allow farmers to sustain production, profitability, and stewardship in the face of extreme weather and uncertain climate conditions. Flexible and adaptive management are the key to reducing risk and increasing resilience to potential disruptions.  This adaptive approach can also be used to take advantage of new opportunities. The workbook provides a structured process to consider potential climate impacts, management challenges and opportunities, and a range of possible responses.

The workbook includes four examples of typical farming systems.  These include three examples from the Midwest (dryland farming in Nebraska, corn and soybean production in Iowa, small holder beef grazing and forestry in Missouri), and a confined dairy operation in Pennsylvania.  Together these give real-world perspectives on addressing the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

This report is based on the successful Forest Adaptation Resources developed by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. Adaptation Resources for Agriculture was developed specifically to meet the unique needs of agricultural producers. A team of authors from the Agriculture Research Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service worked together to assemble the report. Educators, conservationists, and climate, agricultural and forestry scientists participated in workshops to test the concepts, translate them into easy to use worksheets, and develop the real-world examples.


You can download the PDF to the workbook right here, and make sure you check out the January 2017 (train the trainer) webinar, Adapting Farms to Weather Extremes and Climate Uncertainty.