The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) will host a field day entitled Adapting to Climate Change by Building Soil Health on November 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kretschmann Family Farms in Rochester, Beaver County, PA. Registration is required for this event and costs $30 for PASA members, $45 for non-members.

Attendees will be led on a guided tour of Kretschmann Family Farms by owners Becky and Don Kretschmann. The tour will cover the Kretschmann’s systems and strategies for crop rotation, cover cropping, and limiting cultivation, all with the intention of building organic matter, providing biological fertility and reducing erosion. There will also be a discussion on how these soil health principles have evolved over four decades of varying weather and how practices are adjusted among the range of soil types and conditions on this 80-acre operation.

According to PASA Educational Programs Director, Franklin Egan, “It can be overwhelming for farmers to form a strategy to adapt to shifting weather patterns. Fortunately, the fundamental principles of soil health – soil cover, living roots, crop diversity, and limited tillage – are also very sound principles for adapting to a changing climate. We are grateful to have Becky and Don Kretschmann, with their over 40 years of experience applying these principles on their farm, as our hosts.”

After the tour, participants will engage in an active exploration of how the Kretschmann’s might shift their windows for planting, harvest, and cultivating in light of current projections for Pennsylvania’s changing climate. The potential effects of climate change are vast and include the ability to reduce crop yields, cause heat stress in farm animals and more.

This field day is part of PASA’s ongoing commitment to address climate change head-on through our farmer education programs, including our 25th Annual Farming for the Future Conference coming February 2016, whose theme is “Farming in a Changing Climate.”