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Farmers Adapt Alongside Climate Changes

Farmers Adapt Alongside Climate Changes

Extreme weather events pose significant risks to agriculture. Dr. Brenda Ortiz, a corn and grain crops specialist with Alabama Extension, said one of the most important aspects of farming is learning to adapt.

“Many of the farmers who are leading the way in the use of risk resilient practices learned about them at Southeast Climate Extension workshops and outreach programs,” Ortiz said.

Myron Johnson is one Alabama producer putting these kind of resilient practices to work on his farm.  Johnson, who raises row crops in Henry County has attended Southeast Climate Workshops in the past.

He said he believes the long-term climate studies are trustworthy and worth incorporating into crop planning.

“Local forecasts change,”Johnson said. “Long-term forecasts are important to my crop planning strategies. Climate studies are another tool in the toolbox, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of the information available to us.”

Producers can learn more about climate adaptation strategies at Ag Solutions Day on Aug. 10 in Orange Beach, Ala. The free event will be held at the Orange Beach Events Center, 4671 Wharf Parkway in Orange Beach, Ala. The meeting will last from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and lunch will be provided.

“I would encourage all farmers to consider attending Ag Solutions Day,” Johnson said. “I have learned valuable information that has proven to be an asset to my production practices.”

The workshop will provide opportunities for hands-on experience with the AgroClimate website. AgroClimate uses crop simulation models along with climate data allowing producers to compare changes in possible outcomes under different conditions. Users can monitor growing degree days, chill hours, freeze risk, disease risks for selected crops and current and projected drought conditions. Attendees can also learn more about how El Niño is affecting the Southeast.

Breakout Sessions

  • Conservation tillage and high-residue cover crops
  • Sub-surface drip irrigation
  • Variable rate irrigation
  • Sod-based rotation
  • Sesame—A New Crop for Southeast
  • Use of Drones in Agriculture

Participants will hear from farmers, industry representatives and Extension professionals during a panel discussion on agricultural solutions as well as a climate outlook for this summer and fall.

Registration for Ag Solutions Day is encouraged by July 31. Visit http://www.aces.edu/go/551 to register online. For more information, contact Jeana Baker at (334) 844-3922 or jlb0040@auburn.edu.

“This workshop offers growers a unique opportunity to learn from other growers as well as Extension professionals and scientists from a number of universities,” Ortiz said.  Ag Solutions Day is sponsored by the Southeast Climate Extension Project and  is the  Project’s annual adaptation exchange outreach event.

Southeast Climate Extension Project is a network of row crop farmers, agricultural Extension specialists, researchers and climate scientists engaging in climate adaptation dialogue in the southeastern United States.


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