Climate Smart Farming

The Cornell Climate Smart Farming (CSF) Program focuses specifically on developing agricultural decision support tools (DSTs) and resources to help farmers better manage the risks of climate change. The Climate Smart Farming website serves as an interactive platform that integrates climate information in order to support decision-making at a farm or agricultural-system scale within a specific region.

In creating these tools, the CSF program collaborated closely with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) at Cornell University, part of the RCC Program administered by NOAA in the United States. The tools rely on the NRCC-led data through the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), which is an operational system that provides access to climate data and products to users via web services, and is replicated at multiple RCCs throughout the country. The CSF Tools also utilize daily temperature observations from the National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Network, and daily precipitation derived from NWS radar data. These data are interpolated to a 4km X 4km grid, which allows farmers in the region to access accurate information for their farm via the CSF DSTs, even if there is not a government-operated or private weather station near their site.

Utilize the CSF Tools:


This Climate Smart Farming toolkit, developed by the Cornell Climate Smart Solutions Program, was designed to help farmers around the Northeast improve their productivity and resiliency in the face of a changing climate. The climate smart farming tools can be used in response to a variety of climate-related impacts including drought, seasonal shifts, and extreme precipitation. In addition to tools developed by the Cornell Climate Smart Solutions Programteam, there are also a number of links to tools produced by other organization such as NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Many of these tools are focused on planning ahead for potential extreme weather events. Using these tools on a consistent basis will help farmers determine when is the best time for planting, irrigating, harvesting, and many other necessary actions. Some of the tools developed by the Cornell Climate Smart Solutions Program team allow you to select your location in order to receive the most local and relevant data. These include the Growing Degree Day Calculator, Winter Cover Crop Planting Scheduler, Water Deficit Calculator, and Freeze Risk Probability (for apples and grapes).

Picking lettuce greens

These tools are designed to help farmers implement best management practices through sustainable, resilient agriculture. Best management practices have the capacity to benefit farmers and the environment simultaneously. Taking steps like reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting productivity come with many financial and operational plus sides. By using these tools, farmers around the Northeast will be better prepared to handle climate-related risks. Developing climate smart practices now will lead to new opportunities for farmers and a potential for growth into the future.

CSF Spring Update 2018

Our popular tools are regularly used by farmers and Extension Educators in the Northeastern United States and have started to receive international attention. We also create the first Climate Smart Farming Extension Team in New York State, to help farmers with strategies to address flooding, soil health, using decision tools, and heat stress.

Read our Spring 2018 CSF Update.

Utilize the CSF Tools at:

Gardening in a Warming World

Gardeners are keen observers of what is required to grow healthy plants of all types and sizes. New strategies and solutions to the problems presented by cultivating living things are often contemplative acts. These actions will hold gardeners in good stead as we face climate change – an unprecedented phenomenon that amplifies all those conditions that can make or break our gardening success. Deep reflection on our strategies in tending our lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables will be required to manage and adapt to this latest – and biggest – challenge.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer network is working to strengthen understanding and inspire us to take actions in our gardens and communities that will help address the global crisis of climate change. Supporting this effort, Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program produced this curriculum for gardeners, homeowners, educators, volunteers, teachers, students and anyone interested in exploring how we might examine our gardening practice through the lens of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

View the Gardening in a Warming World Resources here.