What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Dynamic Cropping Systems: Tom Trantham’s Story

March 27, 2017Climate Column

By Laura Lengnick, founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC This story is excerpted from Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (New Society Publishers, 2015). Resilient Agriculture explores climate risk, resilience, and the future of food through the adaptation stories of 25 award-winning sustainable farmers and ranchers growing fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and livestock across America. … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Dynamic Cropping Systems: Gabe Brown’s Story

March 21, 2017Climate Column

By Laura Lengnick, founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC This story is excerpted from Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (New Society Publishers, 2015).  Resilient Agriculture explores climate risk, resilience, and the future of food through the adaptation stories of 25 award-winning sustainable farmers and ranchers growing fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and livestock across America. … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Dynamic Cropping Systems: Russ Zenner’s Story

March 13, 2017Climate Column

By Laura Lengnick, founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC This story is excerpted from Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (New Society Publishers, 2015).  Resilient Agriculture explores climate risk, resilience, and the future of food through the adaptation stories of 25 award-winning sustainable farmers and ranchers growing fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and livestock across America. … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Dynamic Cropping Systems: Nash Huber’s Story

February 27, 2017Climate Column

By Laura Lengnick, founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC This story is excerpted from Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (New Society Publishers, 2015).  Resilient Agriculture explores climate risk, resilience, and the future of food through the adaptation stories of 25 award-winning sustainable farmers and ranchers growing fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and livestock across … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Dynamic Cropping Systems

February 21, 2017Climate Column

By Laura Lengnick, founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC Some of America’s forward-thinking farmers and ranchers are innovating more flexible crop rotations that allow them to fine-tune crop choices in response to increasing weather variability.  This kind of crop rotation strategy is called “dynamic cropping.”  Dynamic cropping is an ecologically-based management strategy that optimizes production through the … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Developing Protocols for Environmental Markets

February 13, 2017Climate Column

By Kristen Ford, Program Manager for Farmer Veteran Coalition Relatively few range or pasture land projects are producing marketable greenhouse gas (GHG) credits, and producer awareness of environmental markets is extremely low. Through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG), Farmer Veteran Coalition, a national nonprofit organization that … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Silvopasture

February 6, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation As discussed previously in the Climate Column, trees sequester carbon that, if left in the atmosphere, would trap heat and contribute to climate change. Growing trees on farmland allows producers to store more carbon while simultaneously achieving other advantages for their farms’ productivity. The National Agroforestry Center (NAC) shares information on … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Forest Farming

January 30, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation Last week, the Climate Column discussed one practice, alley cropping, that builds climate resilience of farmland by incorporating trees. The National Agroforesty Center (NAC) promotes other such practices, including forest farming. Forest farming “is the cultivation of high-value specialty crops under the protection of a forest canopy that has been … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Alley Cropping

January 23, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation The Climate Column has covered many practices supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In addition to its own work promoting conservation practices, NRCS also collaborates with the United States Forest Service to provide resources through the National Agroforestry Center (NAC) to help farmers contribute to climate resilience. NAC promotes … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization

January 17, 2017Blog, Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education National Farmers Union (NFU) members understand the negative impacts of climate change are exacerbated by greater concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. Everyone in the world should be concerned about the broad consequences of climate change, but family farmers are particularly worried about the direct impact climate change … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Forage and Biomass Planting

January 9, 2017Blog, Climate Column

By Thomas Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education Since October, when the Climate Column started featuring ways farmers can address climate change, we have primarily discussed practices to build climate resilience in crop production. There are, of course, many things livestock producers can do about climate change as well. Livestock producers often have … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Vegetative Barriers

January 2, 2017Blog, Climate Column

By Thomas Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education Installing vegetative barriers, defined by the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS)  as “permanent strips of stiff, dense vegetation established along the general contour of slopes or across concentrated areas,” is another way producers can adapt to and mitigate climate change.  … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Stripcropping

December 26, 2016Climate Column

By Thomas Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education As noted frequently here at the Climate Column (for example, in last week’s post on grassed waterways), preventing soil erosion is an important way farmers can adapt to and mitigate climate change. Impeding erosion improves soil health. This, in turn, allows soil to both store … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Grassed Waterways

December 19, 2016Climate Column

By Thomas Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and Education The Climate Column has discussed several practices to avoid soil erosion, such as no-till and cover crops, that farmers can use to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Preventing erosion is critical to building healthy soils that store carbon from the atmosphere, mitigating the negative impacts … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Filter Strips

December 12, 2016Climate Column

By Trixie Wessel, NFU Intern NFU’s Climate Column recently covered the practice of creating field borders. This week, we’re talking about a similar practice: filter strips. Filter strips, also known as buffer strips, are areas of vegetation planted between cropland and surface water to obstruct the passage of  sediment and pollutants into environmentally sensitive areas. Filter strips trap suspended solids … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Field Borders

December 5, 2016Climate Column

By Trixie Wessel, NFU Intern In the past, the Climate Column has discussed practices such as strip-till, no-till, and cover crops to prevent erosion and improve soil health. Another important practice with similar benefits is the establishment of field borders, strips of vegetation at the perimeter of a field. Generally composed of stiff-stemmed upright grasses or … Read More

Why Do Farmers Care About Climate Change? Warmer Winters

November 28, 2016Climate Column

By Tom Somrack, NFU Government Relations Intern As previously noted on the Climate Column, rising temperatures resulting from climate change can have serious repercussions for both crop growers and livestock producers. In addition to the basic issues related to rising temperatures, warmer winters pose their own unique set of potential problems for producers. USDA’s Regional Vulnerability Assessments explain how a decrease in … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Mulch Till

November 21, 2016Climate Column

By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern In previous blog posts, the NFU Climate Column covered both no-till and strip-till practices as climate friendly alternatives to conventional methods. Both of these alternative conservation tilling methods allow the soil to retain more water than conventional methods, giving crops the opportunity to thrive even during dry spells. Yet another of … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Contour Farming

November 14, 2016Climate Column

By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern As stated in the NFU Climate Column on extreme precipitation, “Projected increases in heavy precipitation combined with milder winters is expected to increase total runoff and peak stream flow during the winter and spring, which may increase the magnitude or frequency of flooding.” With heavy rainfall likely to occur more often, … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Strip-Till

November 7, 2016Climate Column

By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern As discussed in the recent Climate Column post on no-till farming, practicing alternatives to tilling can increase the amount of organic matter in the soil, allowing for water retention even during dry periods. Another tilling alternative that has the many of the same soil benefits is strip-till. Strip-till is a conservation … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Cover Crops

October 31, 2016Climate Column

By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern In the previous Climate Leaders post, we discussed the soil health benefits of no-till farming, and we will soon discuss strip-till, and mulch till. Although these practices vary slightly, something they all have in common is their use of crop residue, which comes from using cover crops. According to the … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? No-Till

October 24, 2016Climate Column

By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern Previous NFU Climate Column posts have explained that drought and erosion from extreme precipitation are anticipated to become more prevalent if the planet continues to heat up. When tilling is avoided, the organic matter within the soil can attract and retain water. This ensures proper hydration for the plant, even during dry … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Adaptation

October 17, 2016Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education USDA’s report Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation states that “Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the adaptive capacity of U.S. agriculture. Current climate change effects are increasing the complexity and uncertainty of agricultural management.” NFU’s blog has highlighted many … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Mitigation

October 11, 2016Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education Through the Climate Column posts to date, NFU has been pointing out the challenges to ensuring food security that farmers face as climate change impacts the natural systems upon which they rely to grow food. Farmers’ dependence on these systems places them among the first … Read More

Why Do Farmers Care About Climate Change? Waste Management

October 3, 2016Climate Column

By Tom Somrack, NFU Government Relations Intern All livestock create manure and waste, and how this waste is managed can influence climate change. According to USDA’s Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture, manure management programs can significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions. When livestock manure is treated and stored in anaerobic conditions, decomposition results in large emissions of … Read More