Local farmers seeing effects of climate change - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local farmers seeing effects of climate change

Local farmers seeing effects of climate change

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By: Chelsea Priest

It was just last week that a National climate assessment was released, saying every single state in the nation is being affected by climate change. Here in Southern New England, local farmers have noticed major changes in recent years, with new threats to their crops. 

At Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth, Andrew Pollock says he's noticed changes over the past ten years or so. The farm has been around for over 300 years and in Pollock's family for about 60. He explains what he's seen, "I'm not that old, but old enough to notice changes in frost dates, changes in pests, changes in winter severity."
With the climate gradually warming, a new concern is new pests the area has never seen before. Jason Grau is the farm manager, he says, "I've seen new pests like the stink bug which wasn't here probably 5 years ago new larvae on raspberries and bramble, types of pests."

This past winter was the exception, we saw very cold weather. But the past few winters have had temperatures slightly above average. While new pests are a concern, there are some positives to the warmer temperatures on farms here in Southern New England. Pollock explains that there are some crops that they weren't able to grow decades ago, "So we're growing sweet potatoes that are usually grown in the south, but now there's more warm weather here so we can grow them, okra is another crop that people kind of scratch their heads to it's usually a southern crop so in some ways we try to benefit on both sides."

And while other parts of the country see devastating droughts, here in New England, we typically see plenty of rain. Pollock goes on, "It could be that New England becomes a more bread basket for the rest of the country."

Here is a link to Silverbrook Farm's website for more information: 
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