Jackson, Gallandt sources for BDN look at climate change, farming

Tori Jackson and Eric Gallandt were sources, and the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network was referenced, in a multifaceted Bangor Daily News story about climate change as it relates to agriculture. The Maine Climate and Agriculture Network indicates the average length of the growing season in the state is 12–14 days longer than it was in 1930, and that the season is expected to continue to increase by two to three days per decade. “There is virtually no farmer in Maine who should not be concerned about climate change,” said Jackson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator. “Irrigation is a big one — farmers need to be thinking how to get water to livestock or crops as what used to be dependable water sources dry up year after year.” Gallandt, a UMaine professor of weed ecology, said, “If you look at total rain, we are getting as much as we ever did, but it’s not coming at the right time. Maybe 20 years ago you did not need irrigation on your farm, but now more and more farmers are irrigating during crucial periods of the growing season.” The changing climate also means that farmers are dealing with new pests and pest-related problems. “We are seeing insects and diseases that normally would not be able to survive here making their way northwards,” Jackson told the BDN.