Baselines, Trajectories, and Scenarios

Exploring Agricultural Production in the Northeast U.S.

  • Timothy Griffin Tufts University
  • Christian Peters Tufts University
  • David Fleisher U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
  • Michael Conard Columbia University
  • Zach Conrad Tufts University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5376-8775
  • Nicole Tichenor Tufts University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8343-3650
  • Ashley McCarthy Tufts University
  • Emily Piltch Tufts University
  • Jonathan Resop U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
  • Houman Saberi Columbia University
Keywords: Regional Self-Reliance, Agricultural Productivity, Regional Food Systems, Climate Change, Peri-Urban Agriculture

Abstract

Agricultural production on farms and ranches in the U.S. contributes to the food supply and the food system on local, regional, national, and global scales. Increasing production at the regional scale—the focus of this research—depends on accurately estimating current production and understanding the mechanisms and resource requirements of production shifts. The Produc­tion Team of the EFSNE Project undertook seven studies that focused on current and poten­tial production in the U.S. Northeast region, which includes nearly one-quarter of the popula­tion but only about 3% of national cropland. Here we summarize the results from these studies that: (1) estimate the regional self-reliance of primary crop, livestock products, and livestock feeds; (2) develop and implement a method to delineate urban, peri-urban, and rural zones around cities and analyze the distribution of food chain businesses across these zones; (3) assess crop yield trajectories to refine potential production increases associated with agricultural expansion into different land categories; and (4) model climate change and dietary impacts on yields and land use. The regional self-reliance of food crops varies widely, and the predominant agricultural use of land is for the production of animal feeds. The peri-urban zones contain significant agricultural production and concentrations of supply chain businesses. The potential to expand regional output via yield increases varies by crop and by land category and is strongly influenced by climate change. The diverse disciplines represented on the Production Team, along with significant leader­ship from graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, contributed to the broad array of studies completed.

Author Biographies

Timothy Griffin, Tufts University

Division Chair—Agriculture Food and Environment, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Christian Peters, Tufts University

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

David Fleisher, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service—Northeast Area, Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Michael Conard, Columbia University

Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute

Zach Conrad, Tufts University

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Nicole Tichenor, Tufts University

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Ashley McCarthy, Tufts University

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Emily Piltch, Tufts University

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Jonathan Resop, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service—Northeast Area, Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory.

Jonathan Resop is now at the Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland.

Houman Saberi, Columbia University

Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute

Published
2018-06-28
Section
Papers from the EFSNE Project

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