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Farmers in the Northeast are exploring options to adapt to the changing climate. Higher average temperatures and more intense rains impact farms and can take a toll on livestock.
Intensive rotational grazing, silvopasture, and cow houses are practices that can increase resiliency to the changing climate. Other practices include: hub ponds, integrated pest management, healthy soils, and riparian forest buffers. This tour explores the silvopasture systems and adaptive management practices at Dickinson College Farm. Silvopasture systems combine the management of trees, livestock, and forage on the same piece of land. These practices help with climate change mitigation while also increasing the resiliency of the farm to extreme weather and climate change risks. By increasing species diversity, the farm system can better adapt to change. Silvopasture also enhances the existing cattle operation and supports the whole farm system. Through this tour, you can learn more about integrating plant and animal production to create a more sustainable and resilient production system.
Dickinson College is a private liberal arts college in Carlisle, PA. Their farm provides food for the college campus and local community while creating a distinctive hands-on learning experience for students. The college has a Climate Action Plan with a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing and offsetting carbon emissions. To help reach that goal, the farm uses several methods to mitigate or adapt to changes in the climate.
Available Resources from Dickinson College Farm's Silvopasture:
Hub Video Interviews
- Hub Ponds
- Undesirable Plants
- Northern Pasture
- Healthy Soils
- Flash Grazing Cover Crops
- Riparian Buffers
- Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Multiflora Rose
- Working Trees: Mitigating Heat Stress in Cattle
- Working Trees: Why Add Edible and Floral Plants to Riparian Forest Buffers?
- Working Trees: How can Agroforestry Help Landowners Adapt to Increased Rain Intensity?
- Working Trees for Water Quality
- Pennsylvania Agroforestry: Success in the Farm and Forest Mosiac
- Assessment of IPM HUB Strategy on the Dickinson College Farm
- National Climate Assessment: Northeast
- Integrated Pest Management
- Agroforestry Notes: Forest Grazing, Silvopasture, and Turning Livestock into the Woods
- Economic Losses from Heat Stress by US Livestock Industries
- Forest Vegetation Management (Penn State Extension)
- Hub Pond Research Overview and Diagram (Dickinson College)
- Conservation Biological Control (Xerces Society)
- Biological Control (Cornell)
- Nutrient and Pest Management (NRCS)
- Integrated Pest Management Program (NIFA)
- Conservation Practices for Your Pennsylvania Farm (Pennsylvania Grazing Lands Coalition)
- Introduction to Integrated Pest Management in Organic Farming Systems (eXtension)
- Invasive Plants (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)
- Silvopasture (USDA NAC)
- Soil Health Literature (NRCS)
- Grazing Systems: Flash Grazing (NDMC)
- Recognizing Heat Stress (ARS)
- Cover Crops and Soil Health (NRCS)
- Cover Crops for Livestock Grazing (Penn State Extension)
- Grazing Cover Crops Requires Management and Balance (Noble Research Institute)
- COMIC: Mob Grazing (Gold Shaw Farm)
- Profiles in Soil Health: Bill Totemeier (NRCS)
- Riparian Forest Buffers (USDA NAC)
- Cumberland County: Yellow Breeches Watershed (Stormwater PA)
- Dickinson College Farm
- Dickinson College's Climate Action Plan
- Dickinson College Farm's Apprentices Program
- USDA National Agroforestry Center
- USDA Plants Database
- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Bureau of Forestry
- Capital Resource Conservation & Development