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Climate resilience resources for vegetable growers

We've developed a new webpage for growers to learn about projected climate changes in Minnesota, and strategies for resilience that are specific to Minnesota, and to vegetable farming.

Climate models project the following about our future climate in Minnesota by the years 2040-2060:

  • Increased average precipitation statewide in spring, winter and fall.
  • No change or a slight decrease in average summer precipitation.
  • Increased frequency of wet and dry extremes such as heavy rains (more than 2 inches) and drought statewide.
    • Longer periods between wet and dry events.
  • Warmer average temperatures year-round, with the greatest change in winter average temperature.
  • Increased number of days at or above 90°F, increased number of nights at or above 70°F.
    • Higher intensity of drought due to higher temperatures.
  • Decreased number of days at or below 32°F, decreased number of nights at or below 0°F.
  • Later freeze dates, earlier thaw dates.

If you are applying for funds for climate mitigation practices, you can use the bullet points above or cite the webpage to add a justification to your grant application.

The webpage outlines eight broad strategies for resilience, loosely based on the USDA's Adaptation Resources for Agriculture Guide, which we've adapted to better fit the operations of small-scale vegetable growers. The strategies include: 

  1. Sustaining soil and water
  2. Reducing stressors from insects, diseases and weeds
  3. Reducing risks from warmer and drier conditions
  4. Planning for extreme weather events
  5. Managing farms and fields as part of a larger landscape
  6. Diversifying or changing crop and business management approaches
  7. Infrastructure investments
  8. People and community. 

For each strategy, we have videos highlighting farmers doing innovative practices, and resources to help you navigate MN-specific problems, recommendations, and programs. Check out the page here! 

Authors: Natalie Hoidal & Katie Black 

Sweet corn in a flooded field. Photo: Natalie Hoidal, Waseca 2022


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