Adopting resilient farming practices in a changing climate


Murphy, M., Smith, E. and Davidson, T., Wentzell, J., Bataglia, S. and Austin-Smith, P. 2019. Adopting resilient farming practices in a changing climate. Clean Annapolis River Project. Factsheet.

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Agricultural water management practices often aim to drain fields as quickly as possible in the spring. Artificial drainage, or tile drainage, accelerates the removal of excess water from soils to allow early access to fields for cultivation and planting. However, the uncontrolled drainage of water from fields during all parts of the year reduces soil moisture content for the growing season, makes crops more drought vulnerable, and/or requires extensive irrigation. Excessive drainage also reduces the amount of nutrients in the soil available for root take-up and can cause downstream flood risk and ecological damage. Beneficial farming practices such as subsurface water management that incorporates water level control structures are being increasingly adopted by producers to mitigate these risks, as well as adapt their operations to the effects of climate change.

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