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Adapting to long-term weather trends

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Adapting to long-term weather trends

A weather and climate specialist says farmers must continue to adapt to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns.

“When you think about temperatures, you think about heat mitigation, so using more heat-tolerant species, for example,” he says.

Aaron Wilson of Ohio State University Extension says spring and winter temperatures are warmer, which can affect crops and planting and harvesting windows.

He says spring and winter rainfall are increasing, while summer rainfall is decreasing.

“You can get these scenarios where you have a wet spring and a dry summer and a wet fall, and that’s exactly what we don’t want to see from an agricultural perspective,” he says.

To adapt to changing conditions, Wilson says, “farmers are looking at things like controlled drainage structures or thinking about carbon sequestration or cover crops and no-till. Some of these strategies are great for improving soil health, perhaps increasing profitability, and mitigating the impact of this rain. If you have more roots in the ground, you slow the progress of water from fields to streams and contribute to water quality.”

Brownfield spoke with Wilson during Farm Science Review 2022.



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