What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Methane Digesters

May 22, 2017Climate Column

By Rori Cowan, Senior Program Associate at the American Carbon Registry Agricultural carbon offsets have been a hot topic in both the environmental and agricultural worlds in the last decade in the fight to mitigate climate change. While there have been substantial hurdles to implementation, such as prohibitive monitoring requirements, there have also been significant … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Diversified Crop Rotation

May 15, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Last week, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a study, “Rotating Crops, Turning Profits: How Diversified Farming Systems Can Help Farmers While Protecting Soil and Preventing Pollution.” It focuses on the environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased soil organic matter, of … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Rotational Grazing

May 8, 2017Climate Column

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Last month on the Climate Column, we introduced the idea of prescribed grazing, a conservation practice in which the frequency and intensity of grazing, as well as the density and placement of livestock, are regulated with a specific goal in mind. Prescribed grazing can be carried out in a … Read More

What Do Farmers Need To Know About Climate Change? Conservation Planning

May 1, 2017Climate Column

Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Over the past several months, the Climate Column has featured many conservation practices, like installing filter strips or planting cover crops, that help mitigate climate change and build an operation’s climate resilience. For many producers, it may not be immediately clear which practices would be most beneficial for their operations. … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Soil Health Champions Network

April 24, 2017Climate Column

By Beth Mason, NACD North Central Region Representative  In 2014, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) began a three-year project to increase the adoption of soil health practices across the United States. The project consists of two initiatives – one focused on quantifying the monetary benefits of using soil health practices, and the other on … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

April 17, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation As discussed in previous Climate Column articles, specific practices, like no-till farming and planting cover crops, allow farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, in many instances, simply keeping land in production will secure important climate benefits. The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Agricultural … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Prescribed Grazing

April 10, 2017Climate Column

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Here on the Climate Column, we have covered a number of conservation practices, many of which are specific either to cropland, such as alley cropping, or to livestock, such as waste management. One approach that incorporates both livestock and land is prescribed grazing, which, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Riparian Forest Buffers

April 3, 2017Climate Column

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Coordinator Several weeks ago, the Climate Column introduced filter strips, also known as buffer strips, which are areas of vegetation planted between cropland and surface water to obstruct the passage of sediment and pollutants into environmentally sensitive areas. One subcategory of filter strips are riparian forest buffers, described by the National … Read More

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