See more from this Session: Climate Change: History, Cause, Effects and Mitigation Strategies
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Farmers stand to be greatly affected by the changing environmental climate. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns will affect plant growth, yields, and insect and disease outbreaks. Field crop agriculture plays a key role in climate change. Growing and harvesting field crops contributes to greenhouse gas emissions through practices such as fertilizer application and soil tillage, and farmers can help to mitigate climate change by using techniques that increase soil carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For agriculture to contribute towards climate change mitigation, however, farmers need to be engaged in the process. They need knowledge and skills to adapt to the changing climate and to implement techniques that mitigate climate change. Impediments to doing so include their perception of climate change and the real and perceived difficulties they face adopting climate mitigation farming strategies. In order to overcome these impediments, innovative education and outreach efforts are needed. Here we discuss a process called “deliberation with analysis” used to help Extension Educators and farmers recognize and weigh decisions about the changing climate. We will also introduce an online greenhouse gas calculator aimed at informing decision makers at all levels, including farmers, policy makers, land managers, and Extension Educators. The online tool calculates the greenhouse gas impact of different crop rotations and varying management practices, helping users strive to balance crop production and environmental stewardship.