Hadley’s climate change panel to hold farmers’ roundtable

Jack Czajkowski is co-chair of the Hadley Climate Change Committee, which is holding a farmers’ roundtable on Friday to discuss how a changing climate is impacting farms and their ability to raise crops.

Jack Czajkowski is co-chair of the Hadley Climate Change Committee, which is holding a farmers’ roundtable on Friday to discuss how a changing climate is impacting farms and their ability to raise crops. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Staff Writer

Published: 03-18-2024 2:00 PM

HADLEY — A changing climate’s impact on farms and their ability to raise crops will be the focus of a farmers’ roundtable taking place at Plainville Farm on Friday.

The Hadley Climate Change Committee is partnering with farm owner Wally Czajkowski on the event, which begins at 3 p.m., that will bring farmers and farm workers together at the 135 Mount Warner Road farm to discuss measures they are taking to adapting to climate change, and resources available to counter these issues.

Jack Czajkowski, who co-chairs the Hadley Climate Committee, said the event is being held at his brother’s farm after being developed last fall from input at a committee meeting.

“He will be one of the presenters and then farmers will have a chance to talk through what they’re thinking about given the recent weather,” Czajkowski said.

Czajkowski said that each growing season is getting warmer and rains are becoming more erratic and intense. In addition, farmers need to adapt to changing frost events and rising summer heat waves, previously calling them “unimaginable” droughts and “unbelievable” floods.

A similar climate change adaptation meeting for farmers was held in January 2023 and farmers informed the climate panel that they would like to see another speakers series held, keeping Hadley at the forefront on the topic.

Among the questions that could be addressed are whether farmers need to concentrate on better irrigation, or instead better drainage, how to keep diseases from destroying crops and how to protect employees while they work in the heat.

Representatives from the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will be on hand to offer ideas, and it is expected that professionals with information about crop insurance will also be present.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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