In order to adapt to changing climate conditions, it is becoming increasingly necessary to modify certain agricultural practices. Examples of adaptation measures include the selection of cultivars that are more resistant to climate variability or better suited to new temperature normals, as well as changes in planting and harvesting schedules. It is also possible to modify crop irrigation practices, switching to drip irrigation systems for instance, to reduce water consumption.
To mitigate the adverse impacts of crop pests and disease on agricultural production, the principles of integrated control can be an interesting adaptation solution. In this regard, beyond pesticides, it is possible to select more resistant cultivars or encourage the presence of natural enemies of crop pests, i.e. “beneficial species” such as predators and parasitoids.
The principles of integrated pest and disease control are not limited to a single approach, but rather promote the use of several techniques of different types and in a co-ordinated manner, all while safeguarding human health and the environment.
Effective monitoring of crop pests can also help better control them. A number of tools in this regard are available to support the agricultural sector in Quebec. For example, different forecasting models exist that can predict the development of harmful species such as the Computer Centre for Agricultural Pest Forecasting (CIPRA). The Réseau d’avertissements phytosanitaires is also a relevant tool for crop pest control.
This tool provides farmers with customized climate information that shows the impact of the current and future climates on agricultural systems in order to better guide activities in this sector.
Heat stress in livestock can be mitigated by adequate nutrition as well as reduced animal density and better temperature control in the buildings in which they are kept. Local, diversified production is another adaptation measure that warrants consideration in order to ensure that the food system remains resilient to climate change. In this regard, a number of local initiatives have been launched, including urban agriculture in the form of individual, collective or community gardens. This can generate a number of advantages by contributing to public well-being, increasing social harmony or promoting urban biodiversity. Community-supported agriculture, which often takes the form of organic produce delivered on a weekly basis, also promotes local production and reduces dependence on imports.
Evaluation of Urban Agriculture as Green Infrastructure for Individual and Collective Resilience in the Face of Climate and Social Change
This project will inform various institutions about the contribution of UA to food security, food justice, individual and collective resilience with regard to food and adaptation to climate change in the Montréal metropolitan area.