As the largest agricultural manufacturer in the U.S., California is on the frontlines of the fight against climate deepen. Our state besides feels the impacts of climate change acutely through increased drought, extreme upwind events, and wildfires. The clock to take carry through is more pressing than ever .
We ’ ve listed ( with credit to the California Climate & Agriculture Network ) a few significant ways sustainable farmers are doing their contribution to fight climate deepen. many of the farms in our farmers markets, such as Frog Hollow Farm, McGinnis Ranch, and Alexandre Family Farm, are championing climate solutions while bringing delicious food to our tables : using organic and regenerative practices, advocating for policy change, and more .
It will take all hands on pack of cards to move us toward a more hopeful climate future. These techniques will besides build resilience on our farms and in our food issue as we face the challenges ahead.
Efficient Irrigation Management
Conserving urine consumption is vital to any farm, particularly in times of drought. But given that the majority of energy use on farms is from groundwater pumping ( in California, it is estimated that agrarian irrigation consumes enough electricity to exponent 1.5 billion homes ), irrigation efficiency is besides key to reducing dodo fuel consumption and greenhouse boast ( GHG ) emissions. Water- and climate-wise farmers can use an arsenal of methods to save water —and reduce energy consumption—such as using drip irrigation, planting cover crops, dry farming, and more .
Maximizing energy efficiency and shifting away from dodo fuels are authoritative steps that farms can take to reduce their climate footprint. This can include on-farm renewable energy production such as solar panels and scent turbines, minimizing use of petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, and reducing addiction on fossil fuel inputs for farming, memory, and exile of crops .
Since the center of the twentieth century, the industrialization of agriculture has led to widespread addiction on petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in conventional farm. organic farming prohibits most synthetic inputs, which means reduce GHG emissions, angstrom well as cleaner dirt, water, and food. Furthermore, organic and sustainable techniques bring extra benefits for farmers, such as increased territory health and birthrate, which leads to extra climate-friendly benefits .
Increasing Soil Health
A major set of sustainable practices that shows capital likely for mitigating and even helping to reverse the effects of climate change is carbon grow. Through photosynthesis, plants serve as carbon paper sinks to draw CO2 out of the air. About 40 % of that carbon then gets deposited into the soil, where it feeds microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. Those creatures, in recurrence, give mineral nutrients to the plants, providing a natural fertilizer. Farms can support this work of carbon paper sequestration by increasing establish matter and build dirty fertility through practices such as compost application, planting cover crops, and reduced or no-till cultivation.
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Keeping Agriculture Green
Land management practices such as reforesting rangelands, restoring riparian zones, and planting hedgerows and other perennial plants serve many benefits, such as providing shelter for wildlife, beautifying farms, and attracting beneficial insects for pollination and natural pest control. On the climate front, trees, shrubs, and other arboraceous vegetation besides memory carbon in their biomass, protect the soil from corrosion, and conserve water .
Reducing Livestock Methane Emissions
agribusiness is creditworthy for more than half of California ’ s GHG emissions, and methane emissions from gripe and dairy livestock are the primary coil beginning. Through anaerobic decomposition, manure lagoons on industrial dairy and cattle farms ( concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs ) create harmful emissions and pollute our water provide. holistic pasture-based livestock management through practices like rotational grazing can help to mitigate this impact, since grasses provide high-quality scrounge that is better for cattle ’ south digestion, while their hooves break up dirt and manure as they move through rangelands helps to fertilize the dirt .
Pasture-Based Livestock Management
Over half of California ’ mho estate is rangeland, which holds big electric potential for carbon paper segregation. This all contributes to soil health and microbial life, while helping perennial grasses grow and storing water in the dirt .
California loses at least 50,000 acres of farmland each year due to development pressures. This is bad news for not only our food supply, but besides the climate, given the likely for sustainably managed farm and rangeland to sequester carbon and reduce GHG emissions. Farmland conservation besides preserves local food sources, protects wildlife habitat, and promotes biodiversity, among early climate-friendly impacts.
Read more: Apollo for Reddit
Supporting Farmers Markets and Local Food
Did you know that food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate ? All this transport uses fossil fuels and other natural resources, and generates GHG emissions. When farmers sell directly at the farmers market or through early local distribution channels, food is transported shorter distances, conserving those resources ( the modal distance farms travel to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is about 100 miles ). Supporting local farmers at the farmers market keeps farming viable, so that farmers can stay on their land and be successful growing food that sustains us while caring for the earth .
Pushing for Climate-Friendly Policies
There are many ways to support climate-friendly farming on the anchor, but reducing the damage of climate change and build climate resilience will require major policy changes. CalCAN is actively working to advance climate-smart agrarian policies, including incentives, technical aid, and research to support cultivated land conservation, healthy soils, water stewardship, renewable energy, and early practices. As citizens, we can stand with climate-wise farmers to protect our future by urging our legislators to take carry through nowadays .
This article has been updated from a previously published version .