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Assessing drought risks for UK crops under climate change - CC0336

The project will provide an assessment of the risk posed by increased incidence of drought conditions, due to likely climate change over the next 30 years, to production of two key UK crops: winter wheat and sugar beet. Assessments for these contrasting crops will provide a good basis of assessing risk for most other UK crops. The aims are to address MAFF policy on “assessing likely scale and rate of impact of climate change on UK agriculture” and to “investigate possible response measures”. The project will provide: 1. Assessment of the susceptibility of wheat and sugar beet to increased frequency, duration and severity of drought on different soil types and in different regions of the UK. 2. Evaluation of the impacts and risks of drought over a 30 year and longer time frame with realistic incorporation of weather variability and of climate change factors. 3. Evaluation of the effectiveness of changing agronomic practices, industry practices and crop characteristics to reduce risk and maintain crop productivity. 4. Production of models for evaluation of a range of scenarios and conditions applicable to many situations, regions etc. 5. Tested models and assessments of crop responses, risks etc. for inclusion into socio-economic models. The results of the project will allow government policy and industry strategy (e.g. research priorities) to be based on the best information about the risk posed by drought to future UK crop production.
1) Test and develop models of winter wheat and sugar beet suitable for assessing risks of drought, and other features of climate change, on their future production in the UK. (2 years).

2) Test and calibrate LARS stochastic weather generator for the UK. Link these models with weather generators to develop tools which will allow a risk assessment for winter wheat and sugar beet crops for a given climate change scenario, UK region and soil type (3 years) .

3) Undertake a risk assessment of the consequences of climate change on wheat and sugar beet production in different UK regions over the next 30 years using the best estimates of direction and magnitude of climate change. Investigate the extent to which possible changes in practice or genotypes would ameliorate effects of drought (4 years).
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final report for CC0336   (220k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2002

Cost: £286,763
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rothamsted Research (BBSRC)
Climate and Weather              
Climate Change              
Environmental Protection              
Global Warming              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change