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Resilient Agriculture (PDF)
Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate
Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development.
Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience and climate change adaptation is blended with the personal experience of farmers and ranchers to explore:
- The "strange changes" in weather recorded over the last decade
- The associated shifts in crop and livestock behavior
- The actions producers have taken to maintain productivity in a changing climate.
The climate change challenge is real, and it is here now. To enjoy the sustained production of food, fiber and fuel well into the 21st century, we must begin now to make changes that will enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of North American agriculture. The rich knowledge base presented in Resilient Agriculture is poised to serve as the cornerstone of an evolving, climate-ready food system.
Laura Lengnick Laura Lengnick is a researcher, policymaker, activist, educator and farmer whose work explores the community-enhancing potential of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Laura contributed to the 3rd National Climate Assessment as a lead author of the USDA report Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation. After leading the academic program in sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College for more than a decade, Laura is now an affiliated researcher with the Local Food Research Center and a climate resilience planning consultant with Fernleaf Solutions, both located in Asheville, NC.