Resilient Agriculture
170 Pages

You can change the print size of this book

Resilient Agriculture


170 Pages

You can change the print size of this book


  • Co-op available
  • National print campaign: Yes Magazine, Orion, Modern Farmer, Small Farm Today, Acres USA
  • General ebook marketing plans: ebook will be available at the same time as print publication to maximize sales. Ebook ISBN will be included on all press materials, author and publisher websites, and whenever print ISBN is listed. Publisher and author will be promoting both the ebook and the paperback book through social media.
    li>Promotion through social media including New Society Publishers’ and the author’s Facebook, Twitter, website and blog. Academic mailings and inclusion in Recommend Reading program.
  • Excerpts in: Journal of Natural Sciences Education, Agronomy Journal, Agriculture and Human Values, Agriculture, Ecosystems and the Environment, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

  • Climate Ready Agriculture presents the latest research-based understanding of climate rich and adaptation strategies through the personal experience of nationally recognized sustainable farmers managing crops and livestock across the American landscape.

  • Readers will benefit from the real-world experiences of leading sustainable farmers currently managing climate change effects on their farms, and will learn adaptive responses farmers are taking to sustain productivity and profitability.

  • The author’s research into organic farming systems was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award.

  • This book presents the critical contribution that sustainable agriculture offers to the development of climate-ready food systems.

  • One of the first books to address the adaptation of agriculture to climate change in the US, and the first to assess the potential of sustainable agriculture to enhance agricultural resilience and adaptive capacity.

  • Book Proposal: Annotated Chapters
    Sustaining Agriculture in a Warming World: The Climate Change Challenge and the Promise of Sustainable Agriculture
    Chapter 1: Sustaining Agriculture in a Warming World
    Introduces concepts of global warming and climate change and presents current and projected climate changes in the U.S. by region as reported in the 3rd National Climate Assessment (scheduled for release in April 2014). Explains that climate scientists now see that early climate change effects can be detected starting in the early 1980’s and the pace and intensity of climate change has increased in the last decade. Presents an overview of American agriculture organized according to the USDA-ERS Farm Resource Regions – what is grown where, how much does each region contribute to our food supply to connect the specific climate effects to specific agricultural resource regions. Discusses why climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to agricultural sustainability in the context of 21st century resource scarcity and that sustainable agriculture is widely recommended as a path to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Introduces the rationale for the book: I interviewed nationally-recognized sustainable farmers who have been farming more than 30 years to ground the climate science with perspectives from those with real experience managing climate change effects. I wanted to learn more about their experience of climate change: What kinds of effects were they experiencing on their farms? How have they responded and have their adaptations been successful? Are they hopeful for the future – do they think that sustainable agriculture have the capacity to cope with climate change effects projected for this century?
    Chapter 2: Agricultural Vulnerability to Climate Change: Exposure, Sensitivity and Adaptive Capacity
    Introduces the concept of agricultural risk in farm management. and describes how climate risk has emerged as a novel production risk in the last decade. Presents recent research-based evidence to support a discussion of climate vulnerability. Climate vulnerability of a system (a farm or a community) is determined by three different components: exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Exposure describes the climate events likely to be experienced in a specific locale. For example, all locales will experience increased CO2 concentration, but only some locales will experience floods. Current and projected exposures relevant to agriculture and regional differences in key exposures will be presented in this section. Sensitivity describes the potential damage to the system of a climate event. Some kinds of production systems are very sensitive to specific types of climate events, others are not. For example, tree fruit production systems are robust to drought and flood because of plant architecture, but very sensitive to a freeze during bloom – the whole fruit crop can be destroyed in a matter of a few hours with a late spring freeze. Annual vegetable production is much less sensitive to variable spring temperatures because spring vegetable crops are robust to cold snaps and vegetables are planted in succession – so if an extreme event damages one planting, the next planting can replace it with little loss of production. But annual vegetables are very sensitive to drought and flood events. Key crop and livestock and farm resource sensitivities will be presented in this section. Adaptive capacity describes the ability of the system respond to a climate event, prevent or recover from the damage and remain productive. This recovery is supported by human response as well as ecosystem response. For example, healthy soils can absorb more water falling on the soil surface from an extreme rainfall event – this means less overland flow, less soil erosion and less water added to surface water flow which reduces potential flooding. Adaptive capacity will introduced in this chapter, but will be fully explored in Chapter 2.
    Chapter 3. Adaptive Capacity and Resilience
    Introduces resilience concepts, explains relationship to adaptive capacity and fully develops concepts of adaptive capacity and resilience in agricultural systems. Resilient systems have high adaptive capacity – both terms describe the ability of a system to absorb or adjust to disturbance in a way that maintains structure and function. For example, healthy soils contribute to farm system resilience by mediating variable precipitation as described in Chapter 1. The adaptive capacity of a system is determined by three different components: the operating context (social, ecological and economic), existing knowledge and options, and individual capability to act. The operating context describes the constraints on the system to respond to a disturbance – these may be ecological (poor soil health), social (no policy support to maintain/build soil health), or economic (market does not support soil health). Existing knowledge and options describes the state of understanding of resilience and what technological and other tools are available to enhance resilience of the system. For example, we know that soil health enhances resilience (knowledge), but we can’t yet recommend a range of specific practices to increase resilience under different local conditions (options). Individual capability describes the human resources needed for effective decision-making. For example, soil health enhances farm resilience, but a farmer must understand how to build soil health and have a desire to build soil health in order to take action.
    Chapter 4 – Fruit Production
    Key Exposures: Variable Temperatures, Warmer Winters
    Key Sensitivity: Temperature Thresholds
    Key Adaptive Responses: Managing Microclimates, Frost Protection, Low Chill Varieties
    Potential Farmers: Ed and Wynette Sills, Pleasant Grove, California, Larry Thompson, Boring, Oregon, Jonathan Bishop, Guilford, Connecticut
    Chapter 5 – Grain Production
    Key Exposures: Variable Precipitation, increased CO2 and pest pressures
    Key Sensitivity: Timing of planting/harvest, drought during grain fill, early maturity
    Key Adaptive Responses: Variety selection, crop diversity, livestock integration
    Potential Farmers: Dick & Sharon Thompson, Boone, Iowa, Bob Quinn, Big Sandy, Montana, Rich Bennett, Napoleon, Ohio, Carmen Fernholz, Madison, Minnesota
    Chapter 6 – Meat and Dairy Production
    Key Exposures: Heat waves, increased pest pressures
    Key Sensitivity: Prolonged periods of intense heat and cold
    Key Adaptive Responses: Variety selection, age and species diversity, pasture-based production
    Potential Farmers: Greg & Lei Gunthorp, LaGrange, Indiana, Richard & Peggy Sechrist, Fredericksburg, Texas, Tom Trantham, Pelzer, South Carolina, Tom Larson, Saint Edward, Nebraska, Gordon & Marion Jones, Chichester, New Hampshire
    Chapter 7 – Vegetable Production
    Key Exposures: Variable Temperature and Precipitation, extreme weather events, pollinator disruption
    Key Sensitivity: Pollination and fruit development, pest damage, product quality
    Key Adaptive Responses: Variety selection, crop diversity, irrigation, physical protection
    Confirmed Farmers: Elizabeth Henderson, Newark, New York and Mike Heath, Buhl, Idaho and Alex & Betsy Hitt, Graham, North Carolina have all agreed to be interviewed for this project.
    Potential Farmers: I have not yet received a response to my request for an interview from the following farmers: Steve & Cheri Groff, Holtwood, Pennsylvania , Lon Inaba, Wapato, Washington, Richard DeWilde & Linda Halley, Viroqua, Wisconsin, and Larry Thompson, Boring, Oregon, and Dosi and Norma Alverez, La Union, New Mexico.

    Chapter 8: New Times, New Tools
    Introduces the new kinds of knowledge and tools needed to support the development of climate ready agriculture presented through the climate vulnerability framework. Exposure: What do farmers need from climate scientists to improve strategic planning, particularly long-term investments? Sensitivity: What kinds of information can agricultural scientists provide to help us understand the productivity impacts of specific sensitivities and interactions? Adaptive capacity: What government policy and programs are needed to improve operating context? What changes in ecosystem health and natural resource quality? What can research and technical advisors do to improve knowledge and tools? How do we create climate-ready managers capable



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    Published 11 May 2015
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    EAN13 9781550925784
    Language English
    Document size 11 MB

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