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Climate

USDA Southeast Climate Hub Workshop Discusses Salinization Impacts: What is Known and What is Not Known to Address Them

Trees and crops are experiencing stress, productivity loss and even death in coastal areas due to saltwater intrusion and salinization. For example, Somerset County, Maryland has been losing farmland to salt marsh migration at a rate of 100 acres per year over the last 10 years, and that amount is expected to increase significantly in the next few decades.

Partnering to Deliver Drought Information through USDA Service Centers: A New Fact Sheet Outlines Drought-Related Recovery Programs

When dealing with drought, producers can feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to get help to recover from their losses, mitigate risk, and/or prepare for future events. To support the agricultural community in locating the information they need, USDA in partnership with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska, developed a two-page factsheet (PDF, 1 MB) with information on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) and drought related programs that rely on its use.

Potential Future Increases in Intense Precipitation Events and Implications for Agriculture

Intense precipitation is a mixed blessing for agricultural producers. Depending on its timing, severity, and the antecedent environmental conditions, it can bring much needed relief from droughts and strengthen crop and livestock productivity, or it can exacerbate flooding on already saturated ground and decimate harvests.

Nation’s Wettest 12-Month Period on Record Slows Down 2019 Planting Season

The contiguous United States recently completed its wettest May to April period on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA/NCEI). From May 2018 to April 2019, an average of 36.20 inches of precipitation fell across the Lower 48 states, 6.25 inches above the 20th century mean. In fact, it was the nation’s wettest 12-month period on record, regardless of which months are chosen.

Grass-Cast: A New Grassland Productivity Forecast for the Northern Great Plains

Every spring, ranchers face the same difficult challenge—trying to guess how much grass will be available for livestock to graze during the upcoming summer. In May, a new Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” has published its first forecast to help producers in the northern Great Plains reduce this economically important source of uncertainty.

The U.S. Drought Monitor: A Resource for Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters

Even before the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, agricultural producers have recognized the economic and emotional devastation that drought can cause. Recently, the focus has shifted from dealing with drought as an unexpected hazard, to more proactive planning for the inevitability of drought. One of the tools available to producers is the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the USDA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Hurricanes: Challenging People and Institutions to Sustain Services and Learn to Adapt

Last September when hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the Caribbean they caused catastrophic damage to communities and infrastructure affecting homes, businesses, farms and forests across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the aftermath of this devastation the two great challenges facing the relief effort are to help bring back basic services and to learn from our experiences so that we are more resilient to future extreme climatic events.

Introducing the New USDA Climate Hubs Web Portal

Since 2014, the ten USDA Climate Hubs have been helping farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, resource managers, and rural communities plan for and manage weather- and climate-related risks and vulnerabilities. A key element of that effort has been the distribution of information resources via the Climate Hubs web portal. Our national and regional webpages are important components of our program’s outreach and communications efforts, and complement our on-the-ground work to provide practical, pragmatic, and science-based approaches to address climate change impacts on working lands.