Modeling agricultural production risk and the adaptation to climate change

A model that integrates biophysical simulations in an economic model is used to analyze the impact of climate change on crop production. The biophysical model simulates future plant-management-climate relationships and the economic model simulates farmers' adaptation actions to climate change using a nonlinear programming approach. Beyond the development of average yields, special attention is devoted to the impact of climate change on crop yield variability. This study analyzes corn and winter wheat production on the Swiss Plateau with respect to climate change scenarios that cover the period of 2030-2050. In our model, adaptation options such as changes in seeding dates, changes in production intensity and the adoption of irrigation farming are considered. Different scenarios of climate change, output prices and farmers' risk aversion are applied in order to show the sensitivity of adaptation strategies and crop yields, respectively, on these factors. Our results show that adaptation actions, yields and yield variation highly depend on both climate change and output prices. The sensitivity of adaptation options and yields, respectively, to prices and risk aversion for winter wheat is much lower than for corn because of different growing periods. In general, our results show that both corn and winter wheat yields increase in the next decades. In contrast to other studies, we find the coefficient of variation of corn and winter wheat yields to decrease. We therefore conclude that simple adaptation measures are sufficient to take advantage of climate change in Swiss crop farming.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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