Crops

Farms, forests, and ranches are most readily identified and valued for providing provisioning services that support food, forage, and raw materials production. However, when managed well, these systems can also be both providers and beneficiaries of a number of additional ecosystem services, including pest control, pollination, flood protection, improved soil health, and water filtration. A changing climate has the potential to alter many of the ecosystem services that are provided by and support agricultural and forestry systems, including food production, pollination services, pest control, and water quality regulation. Managing for adaptation and resilience can help stabilize production yields, and maintain the suites of additional ecosystem services we receive from our farms, forests, and ranches.

Increasing humidity and precipitation and rising extreme temperatures are having negative impacts across the Midwest. Integrating climate adaptation into planning processes can help build adaptive capacity to increase climate resilience. The U.S. Climate Resiliency Toolkit for…

No-till is not a new concept — it has been a management practice for several decades. Yet it has gained fresh momentum as a key soil health practice recommended by the USDA NRCS. Adopting a new management practice is no small decision though. It is essential to learn as much as…

Many Rhode Island farmers plant winter cover crops, such as winter rye (Secale cereale). The plants help to reduce soil erosion, improve soil quality, and provide other benefits. Summer cover crops traditionally have not been used in Rhode Island because of the short summer…

One third of all of our food comes from pollinated crops.  Because increasing temperatures impact both plants and the pollinators they rely on, climate change poses a dual threat to crop production. Shifts in dates when plants flower or pollinators are present could…

What are Pollinators? Pollinators are animals (primarily insect, but sometimes birds or mammals) that fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds. Humans and other animals rely on pollinators to produce nuts and fruits that are…

Climate change poses both risks and opportunities for Northeast growers. A trend toward shorter, milder winters leads to longer growing seasons and potential for new crops and varieties for local markets. However, these seasonal shifts may also benefit many insect pests and be…

Ecosystem services are the direct and indirect benefits that ecosystems provide humans. Agroecosystems, rangelands, and forests provide suites of ecosystem services that support and sustain human livelihoods. These services are typically broken down into four categories:…