Farmers Lead the Way: Climate and Agriculture in Southwest Minnesota was recorded using Pioneer’s new mobile studio on March 16, 2015 at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, Minnesota. The program was made possible by the U of M Extension Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The complete presentations by Seeley, Hatfield and Runck will be available online immediately after the April 30 broadcast at www.pioneer.org/farmerslead.
“It’s not your father’s climate,” said Hatfield, pointing to changes in rainfall, soil temperature and an increase in extreme weather events in the Midwest. Adapting to new climate conditions is nothing new to farming, said Hatfield, “We need climate smart agriculture that can preserve productivity and the overall landscape.”
Runck’s presentation focused on the U of M’s “Forever Green” initiative, which seeks to develop new economically viable crops such as winter annuals and perennials that could help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions. “We have a suite of plant based enterprise development projects,” Runck said, referring to the initiative’s genomic research to develop the common weed pennycress into a winter annual crop that could serve as ground cover as well as a profitable oilseed crop.
The Lamberton event held in March was one of five climate change adaptation convenings being organized by the U of M Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. The purpose of these convenings is to inform Minnesotans of the consequences of climate change, and to learn what innovations and strategies they are considering and deploying at the household, farmstead, and community level to adapt to a changing environment. For more information, visit: http://www.extension.umn.edu/rsdp/statewide/climate-change-adaptation-convenings