Climate Change and Agriculture, Including Aquaculture and Fisheries, in New Jersey

The Rutgers Climate Institute put together this fact sheet to provide a brief and accessible summary of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in New Jersey, which includes climate effects that will impact crops, livestock, aquaculture, and fisheries. It explores the primary climate change risks to agriculture and fisheries in the state, and provides short summaries on how these sectors can both adapt to climate risks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The fact sheet discusses a range of climate change impacts expected for New Jersey, including:

  • Increased average temperatures and more frequent heat waves - expected to put heat stress on crops and livestock, alter the length and timing of growing seasons, and change the disease and insect portfolios against which farmers need to protect their products. For example, crops that require cooler nighttime temperatures may suffer a loss in quality, and therefore be harder to sell.
  • Changes in precipitation trends - may alter which agricultural products are successful in the area, and the quality of products grown.
  • Changes in water temperature and ocean acidification - will affect fisheries in New Jersey already impacted by pollution and overfishing, such as influencing the timing of fish migrations, species population growth and resilience, and the health of shellfish species and zooplankton affected by ocean acidification, which profoundly impact the overall food web.

The fact sheet provides short summaries of potential adaptation and mitigation responses to these impacts. Recommended adaptation responses discussed in the report include changes to the way farmers grow and operate in New Jersey, evolving their crop portfolio, implementing protections for livestock, adjusting irrigation and pest management, adapting to altered planting and harvesting timelines, and more. Conservation measures and best practices are described that farmers and fisheries may need to implement to protect their products from the impacts of climate change. Additionally, the fact sheet presents ways that the agricultural sector can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from agricultural production and contribute to the problem.

 

Publication Date: January 2016

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  • Assessment
  • Best practice
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