Today, as part of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its climate adaptation and resilience plan (PDF, 813 KB) describing how USDA will prepare for current and future impacts of climate change.
“Integrating climate change into USDA’s planning and decision making is critical to ensuring that America’s producers, who are on the front lines of climate change, are positioned to be successful in the long term,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “This Adaptation Plan lays out the framework for USDA to carry out sustained climate adaptation that addresses current and emerging climate risks and challenges.”
The Adaptation Plan identifies key climate threats to agriculture and forestry and outlines five cross-cutting adaptation actions USDA can take:
- Build resilience across landscapes with investments in soil and forest health.
- Increase outreach and education to promote adoption and application of climate-smart adaptation strategies.
- Broaden access to and availability of climate data at regional and local scales for USDA Mission Areas, producers, land managers, and other stakeholders.
- Increase support for research and development of climate-smart practices and technologies to inform USDA and help producers and land managers adapt to a changing climate.
- Leverage the USDA Climate Hubs as a framework to support USDA Mission Areas in delivering adaptation science, technology, and tools.