Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 10-07-2019

Farm land near Holly Bluff, Miss., covered with backwater flooding, May 23, 2019. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Deepak Ray, University of Minnesota

Farmers are used to dealing with weather, but climate change is making it harder by altering temperature and rainfall patterns, as in this year’s unusually cool and wet spring in the central U.S. In a recently published study, I worked with other scientists to see whether climate change was measurably affecting crop productivity and global food security.

To analyze these questions, a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment spent four years collecting information on crop productivity from around the world. We focused on the top 10 global crops that provide the bulk of consumable food calories: Maize (corn), rice, wheat, soybeans, oil palm, sugarcane, barley, rapeseed (canola), cassava and sorghum. Roughly 83 percent of consumable food calories come from just these 10 sources. Other than cassava and oil palm, all are important U.S. crops. Read the rest of this entry »

Synchronizing food production can have disastrous effects

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 03-05-2019

Global synchronization of food production negatively impacts food security. Shutterstock

Zia Mehrabi, University of British Columbia and Navin Ramankutty, University of British Columbia

Crop failures are an important cause of food price spikes, conflict and food insecurity. The likelihood of local crop failures being catastrophic at the global level is exacerbated when they happen at the same time — that is, when our agricultural systems become more synchronized.

In a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution, we show that while some crops such as maize and soybean have become less synchronized in recent decades (a seemingly good news story), the synchronization of production between crops increased overall. This has, in turn, destabilized our total global calorie supply.

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Crops are key in fight against climate change

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Sci, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 31-12-2010

Crops are key in fight against climate change

Crops that survive the devastating effects of climate change are needed to save the world’s poorest people from hunger and poverty, the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said on December 4 as he announced a new agricultural research program.

The UK is giving extra support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to develop farming practices which will help ensure more food is available for struggling communities. Working with the CGIAR to help developing country farmers deal with the effects of climate change and improve environmental management is one of the most cost effective ways to tackle poverty and hunger. For every £1 invested in the CGIAR, at least an additional £9 worth of additional food is produced in developing countries. One example of CGIAR’s cutting-edge developments is a special flood-resistant rice (known as scuba rice) that can breathe under water for up to two weeks.

Inger Andersen, Chair of the CGIAR Fund and Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, said: “This innovative programme will deliver significant impacts by helping adapt agriculture to future climate change and to the climate variability that farmers face now.” Read the rest of this entry »