What Does Climate Change Mean to Southern Farmers?

Experts to address range of topics from drought to irrigatino in Climate Adaptation Exchange set for Feb. 8 in Tifton, Ga.

Published on: Dec 28, 2012

A common concern for farmers around the world is climate, namely the way climate variability and extreme weather events factor into farming decisions, whether these be long-term or short-term decisions.

"Farmers have always appreciated the impact of climate and weather on crops in the past. That's nothing new," says Brenda Ortiz, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist and Auburn University assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Soils. "What is new is an appreciation for how climate forecasting tools can be used throughout critical times of year to make more informed farming decisions."

To help producers understand climate variations and the value and use of new tools and related technologies and practices to adjust to these changes, the Southeast Climate Consortium will hold a Climate Adaptation Exchange Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. at the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus Conference Center, at 15 RDC Road in Tifton, Ga.

Climate Adaptation Exchange set for Feb. 8 in Tifton, Ga.
Climate Adaptation Exchange set for Feb. 8 in Tifton, Ga.

If the severe 2012 drought drove home one hard fact to farmers in the Southeast it's that even in the Southeast, adequate moisture is something that can't be taken for granted.

Ortiz describes the event as a cooperative undertaking of among farmers, land-grant researchers and Extension professionals to showcase strategies and technologies to cope with climate variability and other weather-related issues.

The exchange will cover drought management and reduction farm risks and costs. Presenters will also discuss barriers to and solutions for adopting new strategies and crop insurance issues. Participants will also receive an update on the latest climate outlook.

Irrigation technology, which includes sensor-based irrigation management, variable-rate irrigation and subsurface drip irrigation, will be another major topic of the discussion. Other topics that will be explored include primed acclimation, sod-based rotation, the value of conservation tillage and high-residue cover crops, and energy-efficient farming alternatives.

Registration, which is free and available online: www.agroclimate.org/seclimate/events/