Keeping North Carolina's Farms and Forests Vibrant and Resilient: An Adaptive Management Planning Strategy

The North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group (NC-Adapt) has found that climate change risks to North Carolina’s agriculture and forestry industries warrant expanded and accelerated adaptive management planning. In this report, NC-Adapt reviews summarized climate impacts for the sectors, and outlines an adaptive management plan to improve agriculture and forestry resiliency and economic viability.

As described in the report, North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes and tobacco than any other state and ranks second in combined poultry cash receipts and the production of swine and farm-raised trout. As for forestry, in 2013 the sector contributed more than $4.5 billion to the state’s gross production and provided more than $23 billion in economic benefit. As of 2015, the wood products industry is the largest sector in the state’s manufacturing economy.

Climate risks to the agriculture and timber industry for North Carolina are recognized as current rather than future threats, with severe implications to the state’s economy - creating economic challenges for producers, their value chain partners and the local economies and communities that depend on their operations.

The preliminary climate impacts discussed are changes in temperature, precipitation, and the duration and timing of the growing season. Other challenges exacerbated by extreme weather and changing climatic conditions include: regulatory uncertainty, changing market structures, plant and animal diseases, invasive species, transportation infrastructure stability, land fragmentation/ownership profiles, land use change, water quality/quantity, energy security/costs, and more.

NC-Adapt recommends that a comprehensive Adaptive Management Strategy be developed for the state’s agricultural and forest sectors, and provides an overview of the suggested strategy process and timeline. 


Publication Date: June 2015

Related Organizations:

  • North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation Work Group (NC-Adapt)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan
  • Assessment
  • Planning guides

States Affected:


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