Farmers Combat Climate Change in New York
In the future, farming and food production could be significantly impacted by severe weather, including warmer winters with more lake-effect snowstorms, hotter summers with serious droughts, and intense storms with heavy rainfall.
At the same time, sea-level rise along our coasts could encroach upon millions of people living along the state’s heavily-populated coastline, displacing residents and pushing new real estate development onto farmland.
Smart Solar Siting
New York’s Renewable Energy goals have led to increased demand for land to site solar and wind projects. American Farmland Trust is working to provide technical assistance to municipalities, land trusts, farmers, and developers on smart solar and wind siting on farmland—to support farm operations, and maximize renewable energy generation while minimizing impact on our best farmland.Smart Solar Siting in New York
AFT’s Greener Fields Report
American Farmland Trust's Greener Fields report has found that keeping land in farming and promoting good stewardship of the land is an important tool for reducing GHG emissions, as farmland emits approximately 66 times fewer GHGs per acre than developed land in New York. Protecting farmland and reducing the conversion of farmland to real estate development should be an important part of New York's 80 percent GHG reduction goal.Learn more
How to take action to keep land in farming and combat climate change
Investigate options for permanently protecting your farmland. Go to the Farmland Information Center to find a land trust and learn more. Adopt climate-smart farming practices, such as cover crops and reduced tillage. Generate renewable energy in ways compatible with farming and keep productive farmland in agriculture.Farmland Information Center
For interested citizens
Shop at farm stands, farmers markets, and other places that sell local farm products. Talk with farmers about the challenges they face in keeping their land in farming. Reach out to a local land trust about their efforts to protect farmland. Encourage public leaders to support funding and initiatives that protect farmland and climate-smart farming practices.
For Land Trusts
Help farm families permanently protect the most valuable and resilient land for farming and growing food. Educate your community about the importance of keeping land in farming to increase resilience to a changing climate. Work with partners to help farmers adopt soil health practices and generate renewable energy in ways compatible with agriculture and to keep productive land in farming.
For Planners and Local Officials
Make agriculture and protecting farmland a priority in land use, economic development, and climate change plans Participate in the Department of Environmental Conservation's Climate Smart Communities Program and integrate farms into community climate strategies. Work with the Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants Program to develop proactive plans to keep land in farming and support the economic viability of farming.
For State and Federal Leaders
Incorporate farmland protection into public policy agendas for combatting climate change. Include the protection of farmland and local food systems in state or federal plans for land conservation and economic development. Commit resources to help farm families permanently protect their land for farming while adopting conservation practices that build soil health.
Conduct additional research related to alternative land use scenarios and the associated impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Estimate the climate change impacts of farmers expanding the use of soil health and other climate-smart farming practices. Explore ways for farmers to successfully integrate renewable energy into active farm operations while keeping productive farmland in agriculture.
Learn more about and help share the results by downloading our communications toolkit containing background information on the report, sample newsletter language, visual assets, and example social media posts.
AFT greatly appreciates the generous financial support of the individuals and organizations that made the Greener Fields report possible, including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, New York State Conservation Partnership Program administered by the Land Trust Alliance in coordination with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Protection Fund and AFT’s members.