Climate Resilient Farming
The Climate Resilient Farming grant is an exciting new funding opportunity for farmers looking to fund projects that can help both the farm and mitigate the effects of climate change – often through carbon capture or carbon sequestration. Check below for some of the work we’ve done under this grant.
Name: Biomass Planting
Funding Round: 3
Year Began: 2017
Year Completed: Ongoing
The District assisted a farm by converting ~60 acres of farmland to hay production for a dairy operation. The new plants are expected to sequester carbon into the soil profile over the coming decades, using natural plant power to mitigate the ongoing effects of climate change. The District is also planning on developing other best management practices under the Climate Resilient Farming grant in the future. Check back for future updates!
The goal of the Climate Resilient Farming Program is to reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change (mitigation) and to increase the resiliency of New York State farms in the face of a changing climate (adaptation). Soil and Water Conservation Districts use the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Framework to plan and assess their environmental risks. Historically, farmers working through the AEM framework have only been able to receive funding through the Agricultural Non-Point Source program, for water quality concerns. Climate Resilient Farming fills those gaps by allowing farmers to proactively address risks due to the changing climate while also mitigating their greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation Estimates of annual greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (apart from agricultural energy use, which is classified differently) in New York State range from 5.3 to 5.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Manure management is responsible for roughly 15% of the emissions; emissions from soils are slightly under a third of the total. This represents a major opportunity to reduce emissions.
While New York State is projected to experience increased precipitation overall, it is expected to come in short, extreme events in between mild droughts. This represents a major risk to farms, particularly those in low-lying or flood prone areas. Even very local downpours and cloud bursts can cause substantial damage to farms. This program capitalizes on the opportunities to mitigate agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the resiliency of New York State’s farms. Click here for more information.