Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed the National Press Club recently to announce several ways that USDA will work with farmers to help them adapt to climate change.

Vilsack announced that USDA will establish seven new regional “climate hubs” that will help the department carry out regionally appropriate climate change risk and vulnerability assessments. The hubs also will be able to provide advice and information to farmers, ranchers and forest owners in each area.

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Another USDA effort will focus on providing cover crop guidance based on local conditions. The new guidance model uses local climate data, tillage management and soil data to account for daily crop growth and the use of soil moisture. Using this information, experts determined the latest possible time to terminate a cover crop. This will allow the maximization of carbon sequestration benefits, while at the same time minimizing the risk to the cash crop yield.

See Vilsack’s speech on YouTube.