Precipitation is becoming increasingly unpredictable. In my view, adjustments mean that people are preparing for both more extreme drought and precipitation. At the most 'basic' level, an increase in the organic material in the soil for a better water retaining properties of the soil, so that rainwater can be collected better and run-off is limited.
A landscape-level approach to water management should start at the top of the 'chain', with erosion control and perennial crops such as polycultures – Saladebuffet to better infiltrate and store rainwater.
Improving soil carbon balance is a crucial adaptation strategy, as it is useful against almost all climate problems. Soils with a high content of organic matter can hold more water. This means that they can collect and store more precipitation and at the same time reduce runoff. In addition, carbon-rich soils are less sensitive to erosion. They also lose nutrients less quickly through leaching and are more fertile.
Include soil-oriented adaptation strategies; superficial tillage, polycultures, agroforestry and management intensive grazing – strip-grazing.
Crop diversification means that even if the yield of a certain plant species in a certain year is disappointing, other plant species can still produce well. That way, livestock farmers can reduce the risks and keep food and income coming in.
In the end what matters is superficial tillage, polycultures, integration of animals, managing green fodder supply and green fodder needs through intensive grazing management.
Perennial crops are more resilient than annual crops. Perennial crops are also better at surviving heavy rainfall or flooding that can become too much for annual crops. Trees have a significant influence on the local microclimate; they cool the environment and livestock can take shelter in their shade.
The deep rooting of trees moves water from deep to shallower soils and vice versa in a process called “capillary action”. This allows water to be made available to adjacent crops with shallower roots – you can achieve this by creating shrubbery and trees at the edge of your plots – Agroforestry.
As with crops, raising climate-resistant livestock or switching to smaller breeds is an important adaptation strategy. Integration of livestock and crop production is also important, including feeding livestock with polycultures – Saladebuffet and using natural fertilizers – such as solid manure.