By Sonia A. Hall, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, and AgClimate Lead Editor
2022 has come to a close, and 2023 seems to have revved up and is roaring along. We are still early enough in the year, though, to look back on 2022 and reflect on what you, our readers, found worthy of your time and attention. Here are the three most read 2022 articles, and three still-popular articles from earlier years. It is worth taking a look. I was struck by the breadth of topics and production systems these articles discuss, which is reflective of the variety in the Pacific Northwest that we explicitly try to cover in AgClimate.net. All these articles also have something in common: they discuss science-based resources that can help agricultural and natural resource professionals understand the implications of a changing climate, and explore options to be better prepared for the future. That is what AgClimate.net is about. Enjoy these top reads in 2022!
Eat your fruit and vegetables. Can farmers grow the necessary produce for all Americans to each five servings of fruits and vegetables daily? Photo: Shiela Sund under CC BY 2.0.New Digital Tools for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, by David I. Gustafson – A 2022 article on new digital tools to help fruit and vegetable growers in the U.S. explore expected impacts of climate change in different locations across the country. One of these tools helps growers understand what current areas resemble their likely future growing conditions, providing a common base of information to foster conversations among researchers, Extension professionals and growers on how to best prepare for future climates.
Adapting to Climate Change in the Yakima Basin: Agriculture’s Volatility and Tradeoffs, by Aaron Whittemore – A 2022 article discussing projected impacts of climate change on water availability in the Yakima Basin in Washington, and the implications of changes in timing and amount on unmet demand for crops, and on crop yields. As with many climate-related impacts, there are practices producers can implement to reduce these impacts, but they usually come with tradeoffs.
The Basics of Carbon Markets and Trends: Something to Keep an Eye On, by Karen Hills – A 2022 article discussing carbon markets, and recent developments in these markets, particularly “Scope 3 Supply Chain Impact Units,” which have the interesting characteristic of being absolute reductions in emissions, and of particular interest to the agricultural sector.
Agriculture is Feeling the Flames and the Smoke, by Jacob Powell – A 2021 article on wildfire effects, with a different focus than previous fire-related articles. In this case, Jacob Powell at OSU discusses direct impacts of wildfire on agriculture, and the role that farmers and ranchers play in protecting their lands and crops.
The Modern Apple Orchard: What Does It Entail? by Antoinette Avorgbedor – A 2019 article (written by an undergraduate intern at WSU no less!) discussing the balance of benefits and costs of high-density orchard systems. These systems are designed to be highly productive and facilitate orchard operations, improving profitability. But will the fruit they produce be more vulnerable to sunburn as the climate continues to warm?
Forest infrastructure: Preparing for Future Needs, by Chris Schnepf – A 2021 article discussing the dominant contributions of forest road infrastructure to sedimentation that affects water quality, and the importance of integrating expected changes in extreme storm flow events and fires into decisions on infrastructure at stream crossings, to prepare for future climate.