University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Farming & Climate Change

Weeds in the Riparian Zone Post Irene

Climate change in the Northeast means that agriculture has been, and will be, facing multiple challenges that will require adaptation of our region's farms and farmers. Resilient systems will be critical to maintaining economic and environmental sustainability in the face of increased precipitation, more extreme storms, and warming temperatures. Successful agricultural adaptations will involve both straight-forward and more creative solutions, including:

  • managing soil and water differently,
  • diversification of enterprises,
  • infrastructure investment,
  • new crop types and varieties
  • adoption of new and different enterprises.

In addition to adaptation, agriculture has tremendous potential to help mitigate climate change through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased carbon storage in soils. The Farming and Climate Change Program is interested in investigating practices that lead to these benefits and how they can be integrated into Northeastern agriculture.

The goals of the farming and climate change program are to:

  1. educate and provide technical assistance to farmers, agricultural service providers, and policy-makers regarding sustainable strategies for adapting to, and mitigating the impact of, climate change, and
  2. seek innovative and effective research-based solutions to climate-related challenges facing the region's farms and farmers.

To meet these goals, we provide educational opportunities and consultation to producers and other stakeholders, serve as a resource hub and knowledge outlet for research-based information, work closely with state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations, and perform applied research that can be put to use on the region's farms.

Current research topics of particular interest include:

  • Increasing resiliency of farming systems to extreme weather events,
  • Reducing soil and nutrient loss during intense storms,
  • Remote monitoring of soil moisture for improved irrigation management,
  • Preventing and mitigating soil compaction on farms,
  • Tile drainage management and its impact on water quality,
  • Climate change impact on phosphorus transport from agricultural lands, and
  • Innovative uses of woodchips for livestock heavy-use areas and agricultural wastewater treatment.

For more information about the above topics or to connect regarding technical assistance, contact:

Last modified June 14 2017 09:30 AM