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Research Project: Advancing Applied Climate Science Action for Diverse Agro-ecological Applications Across California

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research

Project Number: 2032-12610-002-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2021
End Date: Sep 29, 2026

California agriculture is a more than $50-billion-dollar industry, producing food, forage, and fiber for the nation and the world. And the state is home to some of the most ecologically diverse forests in the nation - providing many important ecosystem services. Climate change and other impacts like wildfire threatened the states forest ecosystems. Climate change effects on California agriculture are anticipated to be wide ranging and costly. Under future climate scenarios, increased mean temperatures coupled with more frequent and intense extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, and flooding, will stress California agriculture and forests in the absence of sufficient foresight, planning, and adaptive action. The goal of this work is to gather information from agricultural producers that will guide future investments in resources, tools, and guidance for adapting California agriculture to weather extremes and climate change and meeting targets to achieve carbon neutrality. To this end we aim to identify producer concerns, promote/develop management practices and decision making frameworks required for carbon neutrality and/or adaptation, and the needs producers have and/or barriers they face to more effectively adapting their operations to climate change.

In order to meet the aforementioned objectives we will conduct the following activities: 1. Facilitate statewide listening sessions to understand what the barriers are to considering and using applied climate science in decision making; 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of select applied climate adaptation actions for forestry applications, such as post fire recovery measures; 3. Evaluate the specific context where different climate smart practices are best applied, including but not limited to whole orchard recycling, anaerobic deinfestation as two examples; 4. Evaluate the the food x water x management practice interplay to better understand where and how water is used relative to food production and management activities; and, 5. Provide a greater investment in stakeholder training, convening and exchange that better facilitate climate smart agriculture and forestry management practices statewide - with special attention on locations of the state with large populations of disadvantaged groups.