Jemison, Koehler quoted in BDN report on climate change realities for gardeners

The Bangor Daily News spoke with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s John Jemison and Glen Koehler for the article, “Maine gardners facing realities, challenges of climate change.” According to climate change experts, the state’s growing seasons have lengthened, allowing for the introduction of newer crops. “I think in this instance, climate change is in some ways potentially helpful for the home gardner,” said Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist. But as helpful as a longer season could be, Jemison said it also comes at a cost. “There is really no other issue more important to the longevity of humans than climate change,” he said. According to the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network, the average length of Maine’s frost-free growing season is currently 12 to 14 days longer than it was in 1930 and is expected to continue to increase by 2 to 3 days per decade. “One thing that gets to me is this intensity in rainfall,” said Glen Koehler, an associate scientist. Koehler, who works with Maine’s fruit tree growers, said his farmers have observed the annual rainfall in the state creeping up, but not in a manner beneficial to their crops. “You see more rain so you think, ‘Well, no drought,’” Koehler said. “But in reality, the increased rain is coming in ‘pulses’ and if you go several weeks with no rain, your crops are going to get thirsty and irrigation becomes more important.”