Working in harmony with the weather has always been one of the greatest challenges for farmers. Now, with the climate changing at a rapid pace, it is important to find out how farmers are adapting their practices and what we can do to support them.
While farmers have always had to adapt to changing weather, year to year, global shifts in climate patterns are predicted to have significant consequences for our local and global food systems, impacting how and where we grow food."
Here in Ontario, and especially in the Greenbelt region, we might welcome some warmer weather. However, it is also predicted that we will experience wetter conditions, increased freeze-thaw and drier summers. While warmer weather might allow us to grow new kinds of crops or develop agriculture in northern Ontario, wet spring conditions can delay planting, drought and hail reduce crop yields, and without deep freezes in the winter, pests and diseases become more common. Hotter summers put livestock and farm workers at risk, seasonal disruptions impact native pollinators, and flash storms or flooding wash away soil, which creates water quality concerns and can damage fields or equipment.
But, our farmers are getting prepared. For our newest and final In a Changing Climate report of the year, we met with four Greenbelt farmers to understand climate impacts, how they are innovating and the ways we might support farming in Ontario.
Meet Brad and Carry Nimijohn from Bralene Farms, Cathy and Marvin Mckay from Nature's Bounty Farm, Amy Ouchterlony and Graham Corbett from Fiddle Foot Farms and Isaac Crosby from Evergreen Brickworks.
Read the summary and full report to learn more: