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Climate change hits NY farms - adaptation key
New York Ag Connection - 02/12/2024

New York farmers are adapting to increased extreme weather events linked to climate change, according to the state's climate impacts assessment led by two Cornell researchers. The report, part of the statewide Climate Leadership and Communities Protection Act, highlights rising temperatures, precipitation, and drought events.

The assessment's agriculture chapter, co-authored by Deborah Aller and Allison M. Chatrchyan, emphasizes the impact on farmers, citing warmer winters, heat stress for animals and crops, and increased pest pressures. The report identifies climate change as a "threat multiplier," exacerbating existing challenges faced by farmers. However, many farmers are implementing resilient practices, such as Stein Farms' climate-controlled barn and New Moon Farms' compostable bedding for cows.

The report calls for greater support, both technical and financial, to aid the agricultural sector in adapting to climate change. It stresses the need for ongoing research and assistance to help farmers navigate the evolving landscape. The assessment, covering various sectors, emphasizes the interconnected nature of climate impacts, affecting not only agriculture but also health, safety, and water resources. Sea levels along the state's coastline have risen a foot in the past century, with projections indicating a further increase by midcentury.

The report underscores the importance of addressing climate change impacts in a cross-sectoral manner, considering climate justice and the disproportionate effects on vulnerable communities. Cornell, as a land-grant institution, is actively contributing expertise to prepare New Yorkers for climate change impacts and support mitigation strategies. Governor Kathy Hochul emphasizes the significance of providing communities, businesses, and industries with information and tools to enhance adaptation and resilience while lowering emissions. The comprehensive assessment aims to guide the state in addressing climate change challenges across various domains and fostering sustainability.


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