April 14, 2023

Maryland producers know their operations better than anyone. And they also know that changing weather and environmental patterns affect their bottom line. The Maryland Climate-Smart Ag Project is producer-focused, bringing ag stakeholders (producers, technical service providers, researchers, organizations, and policymakers) together to develop and share science-based strategies and techniques. This will ensure Maryland farms can adapt to changing conditions and remain resilient and profitable for the future. 

The project’s research team will examine current climate research pertaining to Maryland agriculture. They will identify gaps in our knowledge and research that need to be addressed. Agricultural community input will play a key role in identifying these knowledge gaps. 

Coordinated by the University of Maryland’s Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, located at the Wye Research and Education Center, project coordinator Terry Nuwer seeks to connect with agricultural stakeholders throughout Maryland to gain their input regarding their on-farm observations related to changing weather and environmental conditions. Producers are encouraged to pose questions, suggest ideas for research and farm demonstrations, and identify their “decision-making” process for adopting new practices for their operations.

Outreach will seek out all segments of agriculture (horticulture, viticulture, horse and livestock, poultry, agronomic crops, aquaculture, and forestry), including urban and small specialty farms and new and traditionally underrepresented groups. Information will be communicated via email and social media with informational updates tailored to each ag sector. In addition, producers can provide input via future listening sessions, surveys, and emails. A portal through which producers can seek information is also under development. 

This project will submit a report in June of 2024 to the Maryland Legislature that provides the following: a science-based description of expected changes to agricultural production and pest pressure statewide;  a summary of research, policy, and programs as they currently stand;  recommendations to inform the enhancement of state-level agriculture-centered policies and procedures for climate change adaptation and mitigation;  a network of experts who will continue research and generate solutions for producers, and; a network of stakeholders who will receive the updates and share feedback on their experiences. 

To learn more about the Maryland Climate-Smart Ag Project, visit go.umd.edu/MdClimateSmartAg or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HughesCenterAgroEcology. 

Sign up to receive emails on the project at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/iDPyA50. You can also contact Project Coordinator Terry Nuwer at tnuwer@umd.edu or 410-827-6202, ext. 8.