How to Reduce Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture

by Alex Nuffer

Increasing temperatures will negatively impact global crop yield unless agricultural practices change. There is evidence that yields of staple crops, such as wheat, soybeans, maize, rice, and barley, are much lower then they have been due to climate change. Although changes in agricultural practices are necessary, there are economic and political constraints that play a major role in farmers’ management decisions. In order to overcome these constraints farmers seek for the most beneficial solution that will maximize their crop-specific profit margin with the least amount of risk. Lehmann et al. (2013) used models to formulate optimal management decisions in winterwheat and grain maize production under different climate scenarios in Switzerland from a risk-averse farmer’s perspective. The bioeconomic model generated agricultural optimal solutions for winterwheat and grain maize production depending on the different variables and climate scenarios. From these solutions the authors concluded that adaptation to climate change, if economic constraints are taken into account, might not be sufficient to counteract the negative impacts on the crop yield from climate change, therefore a closing of the income gap is necessary to support producers.

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