Here in the Carolinas, our diverse landscapes span from coastal plains to beautiful mountain ranges. We are seeing shifts in temperature, precipitation patterns, and more extreme weather events that continue to alter the farming landscape. Rising temperatures influence traditional planting and harvesting times, and warmer winters disrupt the chilling hours needed for our abundant fruit crops. Heat stress during the growing season affects crop growth, quality, and yield, ultimately impacting the farmer’s bottom line. One of the most pronounced effects we are seeing is in the precipitation patterns. Increased rainfall and more frequent intense storms lead to soil erosion, nutrient run-off, and waterlogging, while decreased rainfall leads to severe periods of drought where water management strategies are becoming necessary to save our crops. 

Climate-smart farming practices are gaining awareness and importance as potential solutions to these challenges. Cover cropping, reduced tillage, crop rotation, water conservation, and the use of technology are essential strategies for maintaining soil health, preventing erosion, and sequestering carbon.

Read the full article on Climate-Smart Farming by Kim Butz.