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October 30, 2019

Agricultural professionals know: water management on farms, whether too much or too little, is one of the most important issues facing the agricultural sector in a changing climate. 

Water is fundamental to the success of all agriculture, but it can be especially difficult to manage in highly diversified or specialty crop systems. Changing annual precipitation and drought patterns in the Northeast United States mean that farmers in our region must contend with new challenges related to water access, availability, and efficiency. 

That is why the University of Vermont and the USDA Northeast Climate Hub are hosting the Northeast Specialty Crop Water Symposium at UVM on December 18 & 19.  Researchers, Extension professionals, technical service providers and representatives from local, state and regional agencies serving specialty crop growers are invited to attend.

The cost is $50 and registration is open at

Symposium organizer Dr. Rachel Schattman says, "We have three main goals for the event:

1.       Increase our shared understanding and knowledge about how climate change will affect irrigated/rain fed specialty crops in the Northeast, and how water use efficiency practices can be improved.  By attending, researchers will gain insight into what challenges related to water supply and management face specialty crop producers today, and what will become more challenging in the future.

2.       Create opportunities for researchers, Extension, and technical service providers working in different specialty crop sectors to learn from one another. Outreach professionals will lean about new technology and innovations happening in specialty crop water management in the Northeast.

3.       Create opportunities for participants in the Northeast to learn from practitioners from other parts of the U.S.  Professionals can learn from their peers from other parts of the country about how climate change has affected agriculture in their regions, how water efficiency challenges have been addressed successfully."

She continues, "We're also intent on helping interested colleagues to leave the conference with clear ideas about what projects they want to move forward, and how to best achieve their goals through regional collaboration."  

The symposium is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture NIFA, Award #2019-67019-29465.

Those requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate in this event are requested to contact University Event Services at 802-656-5665 or by November 27, 2019.

Established in 1994, the Center for Sustainable Agriculture provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus.   Part of the University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Extension, the Center cultivates partnerships, supports innovative research and practices, and informs policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems.  Learn more at

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