Seasonal Shifts

Many longtime farmers and foresters feel that the seasons have shifted, and the latest climate models indicate that these changes are likely to continue. Earlier springs, extended growing seasons, and lengthier falls offer opportunity for greater agricultural yields and forest growth in many parts of the country. Heat tolerant crops and woody perennials will likely thrive, while cool weather crops face shorter growing seasons in some regions. These seasonal shifts are also impacting the life cycles and migration patterns of many species, such as when flowers bloom or when pollinators emerge. In addition, many weed, disease and pest pressures are intensifying and moving northward from continued extended seasons and milder winters. However, there are many actions farmers and forest landowners can take to lessen the impacts – or even take advantage of - these climate trends.

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