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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host sustainable agriculture conference preparing for climate change

LOS LUNAS, N.M. ? Solar radiation, temperature and precipitation are the main drivers of crop growth and yield. As a result, agriculture has always been highly dependent on climate patterns and variations.


Scientific consensus has shown that the effects of climate change are already occurring in New Mexico and may become substantial in the near future. The cycle of droughts in the southwestern United States has increased over the past decades and a recent study is indicating that the Southwest may have already transitioned to a drier climate.

?Farmers and other agricultural stakeholders need to be prepared by learning how to develop agricultural systems that will prove resilient to these forecasted changes, some of which have already begun,? said John Idowu, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service agronomist.

The New Mexico Sustainable Agricultural Conference, ?Building Climate-Resilient Agriculture in New Mexico,? will provide information that will help farmers plan for the future. The event is sponsored by U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

The free conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the University of New Mexico, Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Road, Los Lunas. Free lunch will be provided.

?Many agricultural systems are not yet prepared to address this issue,? Idowu said. ?Some of the significant impacts of climate change in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, like New Mexico, may include temperature increases, increasing CO2 levels, and altered patterns of precipitation.?

Adapting crop production practices to cope with these changes, through specific farm practices that can enhance sustainability, will be among the information provided at the conference.

?This single-day conference will help strengthen the readiness of New Mexico producers and agricultural support professionals on how production systems can be directed toward resiliency to climate change and future uncertainties,? Idowu said.

Specific issues that will be addressed during the conference include field crops, vegetables and tree crops production in a changing climate.

Other aspects that will be discussed include weeds, pest and disease expectations and irrigation water availability and management as affecting changing climate in New Mexico.

For more about WSARE, visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/programs/sare/index.html. For information about the conference, contact Idowu at jidowu@nmsu.edu. To register for the conference online, visit http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/sutainable2016.