Mitigating Climate Risk in Agriculture

By May 29, 2018 News Posts

Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches outlines the best strategies for addressing climate risk in agriculture. Written by Laura Lengnick, this paper was adapted from her book Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate.

For Lengnick, the best strategies for addressing climate risk are already familiar to farmers and ranchers through practices commonly associated with sustainable agriculture, such as diversifying crops, livestock, enterprises and markets; improving soil health through cover crops, no-till, composting and other techniques; integrating crops and livestock; adopting management intensive grazing; reducing the use of off-farm inputs; and using whole-farm planning.  Recent research shows that U.S. producers have already made changes, or expect to make changes, to adapt to the more variable weather and extreme conditions they are witnessing.

According to the author, there is mounting evidence that agriculture can play an important role in the effort to slow climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that agricultural soils have the potential to sequester from 4 percent to 12 percent of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions, and a recent study by the Rodale Institute estimated that up to 100 percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions could be sequestered if all the world’s agricultural lands were transitioned to regenerative organic practices.

This very resourceful paper includes graphics showing climate patterns across the United States. The paper is broken down into four parts:

Part One: Understanding Climate Risk
Part Two: Understanding Climate Resilience
Part Three: Managing Resources for Climate Resilience
Part Four: Getting Started: Exploring Your Risks and Assessing Your Options

View the full report.