Pasturelands cover 121.1 million acres (6% of the U.S. surface area), predominantly in the eastern half of the U.S.  While mostly used for livestock grazing and hay production, pastures also offer other ecosystem services, enhance environmental quality and provide scenic landscapes. Currently, most pastures are minimally managed and could benefit from improvements in stocking rates, grazing methods, seasonal use and fertilization. Optimizing pasture health and productivity today will build resilience to a changing climate. Factors affecting pasturelands under a changing climate include higher temperatures, changes in precipitation regimes, changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme temperature and precipitation events, and greater exposure to weeds, pests and pathogens. Combined with rising temperatures and nitrogen deposition, elevated atmospheric CO2 may positively impact pasture productivity. However, rising temperatures may drive increased demand for irrigation in drier regions. 

Cows on pasture laneway

A rotational stocking system controls the timing and intensity of grazing by rotating animals among paddocks, and gives the pastures time for rest and regrowth. Why should I adapt? Heavy rain events have increased dramatically in the Northeastern United States. These downpours...

Managing Grazing to Improve Climate Resilience

Nutrient Tracking Tool Dashboard

NTT is a tool to estimate nutrient and sediment losses from crop and pasture.

Nutrient Tracking Tool

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

The economic, social, and environmental costs of drought can be significant, and vulnerability to drought in arid and semi-arid regions will likely increase in the future with a warming climate. To promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands, the National Drought...

Responding to Ecological Drought in the Intermountain Region


Subscribe to the alert with your area of interest. The Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) monitors the ARS cattle heat stress dataset for changes at your area of interest. We send you a summary email notification of any changes.

SERCH LIGHTS Cattle Heat Stress Alert

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

Climate change projections indicate an increase in average temperature across the year, a longer growing season, and a shift in precipitation from summer to winter, these changes will increase summer water stress, whereas in Alaska increased precipitation is projected along with...

Climate Change Basics: Northwest Agriculture

NW Cattle

A changing climate introduces challenges for ranchers and natural resource managers. The following resources are designed to help them adjust their practices or even transform their operations: Adaptation Partners Adaptation Partners is a science-management partnership focused...

Climate Adaptation Resources for Northwest Rangelands

Southern Pasture at Dickinson College Farm

Smart Phone or Tablet? We suggest jumping over here for an improved virtual experience!   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...

Dickinson College Farm's Silvopasture

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