Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, increasing the vulnerability of smallholder farmers dependent on rain-fed agriculture. We evaluate the extent to which farmers in Malawi suffer crop production losses due to extreme weather, and whether sustainable land management (SLM) practices help shield crop production losses from extreme events. We use a three period panel dataset where widespread floods and droughts occurred in separate periods, offering a unique opportunity to evaluate impacts using data collected immediately following these events. Results show that crop production outcomes were severely hit by both floods and droughts, with average losses ranging between 32–48 per cent. Legume intercropping provided protection against both floods and droughts, while green belts provided protection against floods. However, we find limited evidence that SLM adoption decisions are driven by exposure to weather shocks; rather, farmers with more productive assets are more likely to adopt.