Keeping North Carolina's Farms and Forests Vibrant and Resilient: An Adaptive Management Planning Strategy
Over the past year, we have had the privilege of Co-Chairing the North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group (NC-AdAPT), a collaboration involving leaders from the agriculture and forestry sectors, along with our business, academic, research and government partners.
Our mission was to explore the impacts of increasingly extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions on the agricultural and forestry sectors of North Carolina and determine whether we as producers were adequately prepared for what is coming. Our conclusion: Preparation is needed and the state as a whole would benefit from the development of a comprehensive adaptive management strategy for the state’s two biggest industries - agriculture and forestry.
The evolution of modern day agriculture and forestry in North Carolina is truly a remarkable success story characterized by adaptation, hard work and innovation. since 1950, producers have more than doubled their productivity, benefiting from breakthroughs in technology, genetics, mechanization and automation, conservation systems and alternative production practices.
Looking ahead, our sectors will be called upon to do even more by providing food, feed, fiber, forest products, energy and ecosystem services to sustain a world population that is expected to grow from 7.2 billion today to 9.6 billion by 2050. This epic challenge will be further complicated by increasingly erratic weather and climatic variability that scientists predict will occur with greater frequency as we move towards mid-century.
This report outlines NC-AdAPT’s findings and recommendations and offers a roadmap for constructing an adaptive management plan to improve agriculture and forestry resiliency and further enhance the economic viability of these sectors for decades to come.
Please join us in improving the resilience of North Carolina’s two most defining and important industries - agriculture and forestry.
RC Hunt and Chip Miller
North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group