; Assisting Farmers to Reduce Risks and Mitigate Impacts to Crops from Extreme Weather | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Assisting Farmers to Reduce Risks and Mitigate Impacts to Crops from Extreme Weather

Cindy Fake


As a result of climate change, weather in the northern California foothills has become more and more extreme over the last decade. Drought is followed by torrential rain and flooding, then wildfires. High winds and extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year damage crops from hail, freeze, heat stress, and sunburn. This affects production, marketable yields, and tree health. Many small-scale specialty crop producers in the foothills struggle to manage these risks and keep their businesses viable.

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Placer and Nevada Counties works with producers on developing strategies and implementing practices to reduce production risks on their operations. These include production practices that mitigate extreme weather, selecting resilient crop varieties, planning and budgeting to reduce risk, disaster planning, and organized mutual assistance, as well as crop or whole farm insurance.

UCCE provides farm business training on evaluating individual crops and enterprises, risk management training, and information on crop insurance options. We also deliver practical workshops and information on more resilient crops and sustainable practices that can reduce climate-change impacts, based on local on-farm research. We work with farmers to develop individual plans for new practices or varieties to help manage production risk. We also facilitate networks of producers who cooperate on drought mitigation and disaster preparation.

This presentation focuses what we have learned about addressing climate change with practical, cost-effective practices and disseminating them through demonstrations, training, and peer-to-peer networking. Working with small groups of farmers facilitates sharing of information and experience among growers and often catalyzes adoption of improved production and risk management practices.