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Is your farm climate ready cfsa 2012 presentation

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  • 1. Is Your Farm Climate Ready? Best Practices for Managing Climate Risk on Your Farm“Although agriculture has a long history of successful adaptation to climate conditions, the current pace of climate change and the intensity of projected climate changes represent a novel andunprecedented challenge to the sustainability of U.S. agriculture.“ Climate Change and Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation. C. Walthall, J. Hatfield, L. Lengnick, E. Marshall and P. Backlund. 2012. USDA Technical Bulletin 1935
  • 2. Agricultural Risk
  • 3. Climate Risk Degree to which a Ability of a farm tofarm experiences climate- cope with climate- related events. related events. Exposure Adaptive Capacity Farm Vulnerability
  • 4. How Vulnerable Is Your Farm? HIGH HIGH MOD High HIGH MOD LOW EXPOSURE MOD LOW LOW Low Low ADAPTIVE CAPACITY High
  • 5. Assessing Your Vulnerability• What are your key exposures? – Increasing CO2 and average temperatures – Increasing weather variability – More extreme events – Impact synergies• What is your farm’s adaptive capacity? – Production system sensitivity – Resource characteristics – Recovery reserves
  • 6. Your Farm Exposure?• Key near term impacts in Southeast – More variable temperatures and precipitation – More extreme weather events – Warmer nights – Higher pest pressure and novel pests• Useful regional projections now available• No local projections, but landscape moderates regional effects
  • 7. Assessing Adaptive Capacity• Soil• Water• Microclimates• Infrastructure• Crops/Livestock• Production system• Extreme events plan• Farm reserves• Community support
  • 8. Enhancing Adaptive Capacity:Three Management Strategies
  • 9. Resistance Practices Strategy: Accept increased costs and more risk to maintain existing production system.• Water • Temperature – Select robust types – Select robust types – Equipment needed for – Adjust field operations flexible timing of field – Physical protection and operations space conditioning – Irrigation and drainage• Pests and Disease • Manage Climate Risk – – Increase reserves Select robust types – IPM – Production insurance – Physical protection – Use seasonal – Increased pesticides forecasting in planning
  • 10. Know Crops and Livestock• Optimum moisture and temp. ranges?• Critical periods and thresholds?• Tolerance for variability and extremes? Vegetable Crop Irrigation NC Coop. Extension
  • 11. Robust Types? Red Orach (Atriplex hortensis) Sahiwal http://www.thecattlesite.com/breeds/dairy/96/sahiwa l/overview
  • 12. Micro-irrigation• Low-flow Drip emitters technology• Water delivered directly to plant roots• Delivers just Micro-sprayer enough water for plant use• Prevents leaching Bubbler and runoff losses
  • 13. Integrated Pest Managementhttp://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/ipm.pdf
  • 14. Resilience PracticesStrategy: Design responsive farm ecosystem to reduce risk.• Build soil health• Manage water cycle• Enhance biodiversity• Integrate robust crops and livestock• Manage “farmscape” – Edges – Topography/microclimates – Restore wetlands – Agroforestry in riparian areas• Use adaptive management• Regularly assess farm vulnerability• Use climate projections in strategic planning
  • 15. Healthy Soils Capture and Store WaterFrom Sustainable Soil Mgt. ATTRA
  • 16. Manage Water Cycle• aim: maximize water infiltration and storage in soil• strategy: maintain high soil OM/protect soil surface• practices: crop rotation, cover crops, mulches, contour plowing, terracing, reduced tillage• benefits: reduces need for irrigation, improves water quality leaving farm, increases groundwater recharge http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/hmv1/watrshed/ntcover.JPG
  • 17. Ecological Pest Management – “Many little hammers!” A Whole-Farm Approach to Managing Pests, SARE
  • 18. Farmscaping
  • 19. Microclimate/Topographyhttp://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable-living.com/images/Landscape_profile.gif
  • 20. Transformation Practices Strategy: Design self-organizing ecosystem capable of sustained food and fiber production using renewable resources in a variable climate.• On farm – Climate-ready crop and livestock species, enterprises, production practices – Regional markets – Focus on renewables and soft adaptations – Convert cropland to pasture and forest• Food system – Supply seasonal diet – Regional production and processing
  • 21. Key Actions Now• Recognize you are farming on a new planet• Address key farm vulnerabilities• Manage for resilience with “no-regrets” adaptations• Consider climate change in longer-term decisions• Near term challenge is water

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