What is farming for climate resilience?
Farming for Climate Resilience Fits All Farms
This is not about a single practice or a rigid methodology. Farming for climate resilience requires a holistic approach that includes a diverse set of management practices. Each farm and ranch, with its own unique geography, conditions, and management needs can find solutions that work for their farm.
One holistic approach to farming for climate resilience is to focus on the
1. Keep the soil covered
2. Minimize soil disturbance and inputs
3. Maximize biodiversity
4. Maintain living roots
Practices that address the 4 principles of soil health include:
no till and reduced tillage
compost application (or other organic amendments like biochar)
integrated pest and nutrient management
agroforestry practices, such as: silvopasture, riparian plantings, alley cropping and hedgerows
establishment or maintenance of deep-rooted perennial grasses (most relevant to rangelands)
These practices not only build healthier soils, they improve water retention and filtration on farms, sequester carbon and better adapt to a fast-changing climate.
Additional resilience approaches include localized (on-site) renewables, irrigation modernization, alternative manure management, and other innovative practices.
The Future is Built On History
We recognize these practices and principles are not new. We want to acknowledge the significant historic and current contributions to this work by farmers who are Indigenous, Black, Latino, and other People of Color. A future of farming for climate resilience depends on increasing access to land to these farmers and creating a more just, equitable food system as a whole.