- Farming Success in an Uncertain Climate [4-page factsheet] – Climate change is already posing new challenges to farming, such as increased risk of flooding, summer heat stress, and more intense pest and weed pressures. Many of the commodities that currently dominate the New York agricultural sector, like dairy products, apples, cabbage, and potatoes, are not well suited for the warming trends predicted for this century. However, there will be profitable opportunities to experiment with new crops or new crop varieties as temperatures rise and the growing season lengthens.
Cornell Institute for Climate Change & Agriculture
The Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture at Cornell University serves as a focal point to facilitate research, education, and outreach to reduce the agricultural sectors’ collective impact on the climate, and help farmers to become more resilient to climate change. The Institute is supported by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station‘s USDA Hatch funds.
- Farm Energy, Carbon, and Greenhouse Gases [4-page factsheet] – Farmers today face rising energy costs and uncertainty about future energy policies that affect agriculture. Many farmers are responding by improving the energy efficiency of their operations and exploring alternatives to traditional fossil fuels such as wind, solar, and biofuel crops. Improving nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency is another important strategy because fertilizer cost is tightly linked to energy prices, and excessive applications increase the release of nitrous oxide (N2O), a very potent greenhouse gas (GHG).
Cornell researchers are developing decision-support tools to help farmers mitigate and adapt to climate change. Further tools will be added as they are developed:
- Adapt-N – An online nitrogen management tool for corn growers that helps cut emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas.
- Cornell Soil Health Assessment Program – Soil health is a concept that deals with the integration and optimization of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil for improved productivity and environmental quality. The Cornell Soil Health Team has been working to address soil degradation issues that have resulted in reduced soil quality, and lower crop productivity and farm profitability, by developing a cost-effective protocol for assessing the health status of soils in New York and the Northeast region.
- Vineyard Site Analysis – Cornell researchers partnered with the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT) to develop a viticulture decision tool for climate and viticulture site evaluation research projects. The partners developed a web-based, interactive mapping application that could be used as a one-stop-shop for geospatial data for current growers and for other people who might be interested in establishing a vineyard within New York State.
- Northeast Regional Climate Center – The NRCC at Cornell University facilitates and enhances the collection, dissemination, and use of climate data and information, as well as monitors and assesses climatic conditions and impacts in the northeast. The NRCC provides specialized climate and weather tools for various sectors, such as the turf grass, field crops and fruit crops industries (click Analyses for Industry in the left navigation on the website) and other climate change resources.
- Willowpedia – Supports a community of knowledge surrounding the academic study and commercial use of shrub willow (Salix spp.) as a sustainable feedstock crop for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts, as well as for environmental engineering and horticultural applications.
- Agriculture and Adaptation – How New York farmers (dairy, apple, grape, CSA) are adjusting their management to the realities of a changing climate.
- Farming for Energy - Features two New York farmers who have reduced their energy costs and carbon footprint: A dairy producer who constructed a methane digester and an apple orchardist who is powering his operation with electricity from wind and solar.
More Cornell videos:
- Climate Smart Farming videos - How Northeast farmers are adapting to extreme weather and climate variability and reducing their GHG emissions.
- Climate change on CornellCast – 46 videos on a wide variety of climate change topics
- School of Integrative Plant Science climate change playlist
- Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future multimedia page
Reports and studies
- Climate Change Impacts in the United States, Chapter 6: Agriculture (2014) – From the US Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment. Key messages include how climate change may disrupt agriculture as critical thresholds are exceeded, effects on pests, diseases and weeds, degradation of soil and water assets, and need for increasingly innovative adaptation strategies. See also full report downloads.
- IPCC Assessment Report, Chapter 7: Food Security and Food Production Systems [82 pages, 2014] – Covers observed impacts, assessing impacts, projected climate change impacts, and adaptation and mitigation strategies for coping with climate change by industry-specific categories such as specific crops and livestock.
- The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States. Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (2008).
- Feeding Our Great Cities: Climate Change and Opportunities for Agriculture in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern US. Hoffmann and Smith: Agriculture will no longer be business as usual. But despite the challenges of climate change there are enormous opportunities for the region (2011).
- Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) - NYSERDA, Report 11-18 (2012):
- Agriculture (Chapter 7) - Focuses on New York’s agriculture sector, including hazards, vulnerabilities, opportunities and adaptation strategies (Wolfe, D., et al.).
- Presentations from Eastern U.S.-Canada Collaboration Workshop: Developing Networks for Agricultural Adaptation to Extreme Weather – Presentations from workshop in Syracuse, NY, December 9-10, 2013, Organized by Cornell University, McGill University, Rutgers University and several US and Canadian partners.
Also at this site
- Climate Science – Basic information to help you and others better understand climate change issues.
- Climate change and gardening
- Cornell research and other projects related to:
- The Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture - The CICCA is focused on supporting farmers of New York and beyond with decision tools for strategic adaptation to climate change, so that they are better able to cope with potential negative effects of climate change, and are better able to take advantage of any opportunities that it might bring.
- Online Animal Agriculture & Climate Change Certification Course - This 12-hour, self-paced, national online certification course has been developed specifically to equip Extension Educators and other Agricultural Service Providers with the background necessary to instruct and advise farmers and ranchers in all aspects of animal agriculture and climate change.
- Carbon and Agriculture: Getting Measurable Results - 64-page report of the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases emphasizes the importance of agriculture in the production of greenhouse gases and ways to both measure and curb emissions. Chapters cover measurement suggestions, potential projects and practices to reduce emissions, and policy recommendations.
- Animal Agriculture and Climate Change - This site is designed for extension educators, dairy and livestock producers, as well as their advisors to discover the latest information about the effects of changing weather patterns on animal agriculture and how to best manage these new risks.
- Cool Farm Tool – A greenhouse gas calculator that is free for growers to help them measure the carbon footprint of crop and livestock products from the Cool Farm Institute.
- Climate change: Impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation - A report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (2009).
- Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation (2013) and Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the U.S. Forest Sector (2012) – Two comprehensive USDA reports provide a syntheses of the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. agriculture and forests, evaluate current conditions, and look ahead to the next 25 to 100 years and the potential consequences of climate change.
- Agriculture: Climate Change - Resources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
For more information on the resources in this section, contact: