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UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Farming & Climate Change Program Offers Downloadable Resources for Vermont Farmers

http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/

Burlington, VT –  The UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Farming & Climate Change Coordinator Joshua Faulkner, Ph.D., has made two new resources available for farmers in Vermont, the region, and beyond.  Now available through the Center’s website (uvm.edu/sustainableagriculture) are two documents created especially with produce growers in mind.

Dr. Faulkner says. “With increasingly common extreme weather patterns events becoming the norm, we wanted to provide growers with strategies to both adapt to the reality they’re facing on their farms, as well as practices that minimize emissions in feasible and affordable ways.”

First is a plan for Low-Cost Sand Filters to let farmers use on-farm ponds to safely irrigate their crops.   The introduction to the plan states, “Irrigation is becoming more common in the Northeast as climate variability continues to increase risk of water stress in fruit and vegetable production. Ponds can aid in drought resiliency if water is adequately filtered and used to supply highly-efficient micro-irrigation (i.e., ‘drip’) systems. Producers can construct their own sand filter in order to make use of these on-farm water resources.”  

According to Ben Waterman, on whose blueberry farm the research project was conducted, “This system has created tremendous immediate savings on the labor required for our filtering system.”   The (prototype) plans are available for free download here (http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/resources/SandFilterHowTo.pdf).  (And feedback is enthusiastically welcomed.)

The second resource is Improving Resilience in Row Crop Production, outlines some of the climate-related challenges facing agriculture and proposes steps to mitigate and adapt to these challenges.  Dr. Faulkner says, “Our colleague at Virginia Tech Extension got in touch to see if we’d be interested in putting out some information that could help both growers in the mid-Atlantic region as well as here in northern Vermont.  This publication is the result.”  It is available for free download here (http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/resources/FactSheets/ClimChangeAdaptationRowCropsFinal.pdf).

Established in 1994, the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus.   A proud part of UVM Extension, the Center cultivates partnerships, supports innovative research and practices, and informs policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems.  Learn more at http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/.