To help organic dairy farms survive in the Northeast, a first-of-its-kind partnership is asking consumers to pledge to buy dairy products from 35 brands that agreed to expand their purchases of milk from the farms. The Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership was a response to decisions by processors to pull out of the region, said Gary Hirshberg, a co-founder of Stonyfield, on Wednesday.
Groups representing organic dairy farmers in the Northeast said Danone North America, owner of Horizon Organic, needs to do more to cushion farmers against its decision to pull out of the region. Danone said it would extend contracts with 89 dairy farmers for an additional six months, provide a transition payment to the producers, and explore "co-investment solutions" with state and federal officials.
Climate change is bringing a longer and warmer growing season to the Northeast along with heavy rainfall that can delay spring planting, says a study led by Cornell scientists.
Climate change’s impact on animal agriculture in the northeastern United States is expected to be mild overall — and in some cases new weather patterns might even help producers, says a study by Penn State, published in the journal Climatic Change.
As two-thirds of marine species off the Northeast coast adjust their range due to rising ocean temperatures, fishermen are frustrated by outdated catch regulations, says The New York Times. “Lobster, once a staple in southern New England, have decamped to Maine. Black sea bass, scup, yellowtail flounder, mackerel, herring and monkfish, to name just a few species, have all moved to accommodate changing temperatures,” says the Times.
Parts of Alabama and Georgia have seen no rain in two months as drought expands in the South, the Northeast and the Great Plains, said the weekly Drought Monitor. "The dryness in the Southeast dates back to the beginning of the year, which has dried soils and brought stream flows to record lows."
Hit hard by the worst drought in more than a decade, Northeast dairy and vegetable farmers are making difficult sacrifices. “Some private wells have dried up. Farmers face millions of dollars in lost crops, and federal agricultural officials have declared much of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut a natural disaster area,” says The New York Times.
The U.S. Northeast, home to 175,000 farms, is under the worst drought in more than a decade, says the NPR blog The Salt. "Many fields are bone dry," says NPR, "and that has many farmers thinking about how to manage their land, their animals and the water that is there."