Northern Plains Climate Hub (NPCH) Vulnerability Assessment

Northern Plains Climate Hub (NPCH) Vulnerability Assessment

The Northern Plains has experienced increased weather variability and climatic changes throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. The  assessment presents observed changes, such as increased length of frost-free seasons, which pose risks and opportunities to agricultural production in the region.

The Assessment also highlights adaptation practices working land managers might consider to prepare for and respond to changes in climate by adjusting management in ways that harness benefits or reduce anticipated effect. For example:

Livestock

  • Adaptive grazing management
  • Grass-banking
  • Livestock operation flexibility

Croplands

  • Plant more water-efficient varieties
  • Precision planting, fertilization, and irrigation
  • Protect and enhance soil health

Forests

  • Plant diverse, pest tolerant and drought resistant species
  • Prescribed fire and thinning of coniferous forests
  • Proactive pruning/maintenance of urban trees to reduce risk from extreme events

Assessment readers will find 1-page information sheets for a variety of agricultural sectors (e.g., livestock systems) and commodities (e.g., corn).