A variety of programs and informational resources are available to inform your farm adaptation plan. NEWA provides real time forecasting tools for insect and disease pests. The Cornell Smart Farming Program provides tools for growers to address longer term climate concerns. The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate project provides a specialized set of tools for livestock producers. A number of reports have also been published recently that have information useful to the agricultural community.
NEWA delivers weather information and apps based on the weather collected that support and advance integrated pest management (IPM) and best management practices for agricultural and green industries. Our vision is that NEWA will become the source for weather-related information for the IPM practitioner in the Northeast
The Cornell Climate Smart Farming program is a voluntary initiative that helps farmers in New York and the northeastern US to increase productivity in a sustainable way, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production, and increase farm resiliency to extreme weather and climate variability.
The Northeast Climate Hub, building on capacity within USDA, delivers science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and D.C
CLN eLearning is designed to help Extension Professionals, Professional Crop Advisors and Professional Foresters incorporate climate change into their existing program areas and become Climate Literate. Many of our modules offer Continuing Education Credits from SAF and CCA.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Change Adaptation Plan presents strategies and actions to address the effects of climate change on key mission areas including agricultural production, food security, rural development, and forestry and natural resources conservation.
The 2014 USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan includes input from eleven USDA agencies and offices. It provides a detailed vulnerability assessment, reviews the elements of USDA’s mission that are at risk from climate change, and provides specific actions and steps being taken to build resilience to climate change.
Agriculture is an important sector of the U.S. economy. The crops, livestock, and seafood produced in the United States contribute more than $300 billion to the economy each year. When food-service and other agriculture-related industries are included, the agricultural and food sectors contribute more than $750 billion to the gross domestic product
In part one, we discussed the reality of farming in the future and the importance of understanding that unpredictability is going to be the only predictable thing moving forward. Success, however, doesn’t have to be an elusive goal even when extreme weather and climate shift pose significant challenges. Your ability to adopt specific strategies and innovative approaches depends on available time and resources, but some broad strategies have already been identified and shown to have success.
Alter system inputs. Choose crop varieties or species that possess qualities that align with your farm climate, such as drought or heat shock tolerance. Choose a shorter or longer developing variety. Adjust fertilizer rates to maintain crop quality. Cornell’s Adapt-N program is a very useful tool for this.
Develop a water budget. Experiment with ways to save water when abundant and efficiently move it to areas of need when there is a deficit. Understand your water needs throughout the season by looking at precipitation in recent years. NEWA’s apple irrigation tool is also useful for managing water use in orchards through the growing season.
Plan for extremes. Manage extreme weather events to your advantage. Study weather patterns and trends in recent years. Assume they will become the norm and experiment with ways to save that water for later use and at the same time reduce erosion, reduce water-logged soil and prevent nutrient leaching. NEWA provides insect and disease forecasts to help inform management decisions from day to day in this respect.
Minimize risk. Spread your investments over different income streams.
Utilize IPM. Look for ways to incorporate, improve or refine integrated pest management practices to mitigate the impact of insects, disease and weeds on your bottom line. NEWA is a great resource for maximizing your IPM strategies in this respect.