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Mitigate & Adapt: Agriculture Disruptions

Climate change can affect crops, livestock, soil and water resources, rural communities, and agricultural workers. The agriculture sector also emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to climate change. 

(Source: EPA Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture & Food Supply)

 

EPA Recommendations-

We can reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture in many ways, including the following:

Assistance  for
Town of Aurora Farmers

Agriculture Environmental Management Program-

19 farms in the Town of Aurora have or are currently  participating in the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM), program. These participating farmers boast 2,471 acres of cropland that is reported to the USDA, including one large hay operation in the west side of the town's agriculture district. AEM is

a voluntary, incentive-based program available to through our local Soil and Water Conservation District.  AEM supports common-sense, cost-effective, and science-based decisions to meet farm goals while protecting and conserving New York‘s natural resources.

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AgEnergy New York-

A resource guide from Cornell Cooperative Extension, AgEnergy NY is a service created to help NY farmers improve improve farm energy efficiency, reduce costs, and improve productivity. This website introduces key energy efficiency concepts, provides access to resources, and connects farmers with free energy assessments and expert assistance to improve energy savings and productivity.

Erie Grown Passport Program-

Erie County's Office of Agriculture created this Erie Grown website and the Erie Grown Passport to promote locally grown and in-season produce as well as maple syrup, honey, and agritourism activities. The goal is to connect consumers to farmers, farmers markets. Each time you visit a farmer on Erie Grown, you can earn Passport points and become eligible to win prizes!   Click on the map to see the local participating farmers and businesses in the Town of Aurora & our neighbors!

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NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program-

NYSERDA's Agriculture Energy Audit Program offers technical assistance to identify energy efficiency measures for eligible farms and on-farm producers, including but not limited to: dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. Also, greenhouse facilities can receive a free benchmarking report through the NYS Greenhouse Database and Benchmarking Tool. 

Birds & Bees Protection Act-

NY's recently passed Birds and Bees Act leads the nation by prohibiting the use of certain neonicotinoid pesticide (neonics) used to  treat corn, soybeans, wheat seeds and neonicotinoid pesticides for outdoor ornamental plants and turfs. This ban creates important protections for New York’s essential pollinators, birds, and other wildlife while prioritizing sustainable farming and agricultural practices. This act supports thousands of NY farms that rely on native and honeybee populations to pollinate their crops each year. 

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   12 Farms in WNY Awarded $1,469,802 to help Address the Impacts of Climate Change   

The selected projects in WNY, including the ones listed below in Erie County,  will reduce greenhouse gases by an estimated 64,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year — or as much as eliminating over 14,000 cars from the road for one year, increase environmental sustainability, and boost resiliency to extreme weather events related to climate change.

 

“New York’s agricultural industry is too often faced with severe challenges associated with our changing climate, from flooding to droughts that impact their crops and their livelihood. The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is addressing these challenges head on, helping our farmers to implement projects that prevent weather-related damage and also ensure our farmers are part of the solution to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their environmental footprint.”      

- NYS Governor Kathy Hocul

$153,595 was awarded to Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District to work with a nonprofit farm collective cultivating farmer-led and community-rooted agriculture and food systems to assist underserved population. The project will install an irrigation water management system to create efficiencies, improve resiliency, and reduce GHG emissions. The farm has been experiencing the need for an increased amount of irrigation water required during the growing season and intensified and more frequent dry spells and droughts.

$107,475 was awarded to Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District to work with a vegetable farm that has been protected by the NYS Agricultural and Farmland Protection Program with the purchase of development rights that are held by the Western NY Land Conservancy. The project will implement stream bank stabilization to repair eroding bank, restore floodplain, and establish native riparian trees and shrubs. The projects will also protect the farm's water pump and electrical infrastructure.

$272,011 was awarded to Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District to work with a dairy farm to implement an irrigation water management system, including an irrigation reservoir, livestock pipeline, and solar powered pumping plant. The system will provide 3M gallons of water for livestock drinking water and wash water for the dairy farm. The new system will eliminate the need to purchase and truck in water from off the farm, reducing GHG emissions through reduced fossil fuels and the conversion of cropland to permanent grasses surrounding the irrigation reservoir.

Agriculture Disruptions: Challenges
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