Farm Financial Matters: Planning for Unpredictable Growing Seasons

Farm Financial Matters: Planning for Unpredictable Growing Seasons
When it comes to protecting their farms, North Carolina farmers sometimes look months or years into the future in order to try and forecast the changes that will need to be made in order to keep their farms profitable and viable. However, this work does not need to be done by the farmer alone. There are resources available to help farmers plan for the future. Here’s a few tips on how farmers in North Carolina can plan for unpredictable growing seasons.

Management Techniques

Farm management techniques are an important part of planning for unpredictable growing seasons. Any growing season in North Carolina can include unpredictable weather events that may occur with unforeseen severity. These weather events can positively impact crop yields during some years, while destroying crop yields during other years.
Before purchasing North Carolina land for commercial or hobby farming, farmers should research potential land plots to determine if the land will be suitable for their purposes. North Carolina farmers can research agricultural regions, as well as, weather histories, predictions and forecasts using local resources provided by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the State Climate Office of North Carolina. The State Climate Office of North Carolina tracks weather extremes for all of North Carolina and by specific climate divisions.
In addition, to the challenges caused directly by weather stress, it is important for farmers to identify and mitigate other risk factors. These factors, known as yield influencing factors, can include soil type, drainage, and hybrid genetics. These yield-influencing factors combine with changing weather conditions to create big problems for farmers. As a result, farmers need to identify these factors early on in order to fix existing problems and prevent impacts to crop yield. Soil erosion control, nutrient management, and disease management should be the primary considerations of farm managers in order to mitigate growing season risks.

Climate Change Resources

The North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group, (NC-AdAPT), is a collaboration of leaders from both the agriculture and forestry sectors that are working with business, academic and government organizations in order to explore the impacts of changing climate conditions in North Carolina. The goal of this organization is to help local farmers become adequately prepared for the changes ahead. The organization recently issued an Adaptive Management Planning Strategy that will involve a series of summits, report drafting, and information networks in order to develop an agriculture/forest sector adaptation engagement plan for the state.


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