Atlantic Agriculture in a Changing Climate

David Burton, Ph.D, P.Ag
Climate Change Chair NSAC

Agriculture in a Changing Climate
‡ The Climate Change Issue
± Mitigation of impacts on the atmosphere ± Adapting to changing climatic conditions

‡ A new ³climate´ for agriculture
± Increased scrutiny of the impacts of agriculture on the environment ± Agriculture as industry
‡ Agriculture a ³price-taker´

We Must Mitigate and Adapt

‡ Must seek to mitigate our impacts on the atmosphere
± Need to minimize future impacts ± For agriculture there are other environmental benefits

‡ Will not prevent climate change therefore must also focus on adaptation
± Agriculture most effected by climate ± Climate variability greatest challenge

³SWOT´ Analysis
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

Strengths
‡ Diversity
± Mixed farming systems ± Increases economic stability in changing climate

‡ Resourcefulness of producer community
± Atlantic producers most highly educated
‡ 43% have education beyond high school (Aubin et al., 2003).

Strengths
‡ Most aware of climate change issue
± Of those aware of climate change issue, 68% believe producers should take responsibility for reducing GHG emissions ± Most willing to undertake voluntary action

‡ Strong linkage to rural community

Weaknesses
‡ Profit margins
± Small differences between input costs and returns increases vulnerability ± High debit ratio

‡ Age of agricultural community
± Average age 53 ± 36% intend to retire in next 5 years ± Who will be our future producers?

Weaknesses
‡ Atlantic agriculture industry 4% of National
± Sufficient support?

‡ Concentration in agricultural sector
± 23% corporate ownership

‡ Tools for adaptation
± Currently have few tools identified ± Limited research and extension capacity

Weaknesses
‡ Producer awareness
± Only 1 in 4 producers aware of climate change or greenhouse gas issues

‡ Producer skepticism
± 1/3 of agriculture producers feel their will be no impact of climate change

Opportunities
‡ Introduction of new crops to the region
± Increased corn and soybean acreage?

‡ Improved yields of existing crops
± Longer growing season ± CO2 fertilization ± Warmer temperatures

Bootsma et al., 2001

Bootsma et al., 2001

Shift to Corn-Soybean-Barley Corn-Soybeanrotation
1995-1998
‡ Corn
± 2,300 ha @ 5.6 t/ha ± $2.4 Million

2050
‡ Corn
± 30,000 ha @ 7 t/ha ± $39 Million

‡ Soybean
± 3,500 ha @ 2.3 t/h ± $2.0 Million

‡ Soybean
± 20,000 ha @ 3.0 t/ha ± $20 Million

‡ Barley
± 55,000 ha @ 3 t/ha ± $23 Million

‡ Barley
± 25,000ha @ 3.15 t/ha ± $11 Million

‡ $27.4 Million

‡ $70 Million

Opportunities
‡ Impetus to develop risk management ‡ Linkage between adaptation and mitigation
± Must address entire system ± Stress co-benefits ± Provide integrated solutions

Threats
‡ Uncertainty
± Do not have good future data sets

‡ Frequency of extreme events

Dr

* +X
t ritX pc
- X*

X cc

Time (years)
pre-climate change changed climate

freq. (yrs)

Drought Severity

Smit et al., 2002

Richards, 2002

Threats
‡ Frequency of extreme events ‡ Economic risks
± Direct - Producer and larger community ± Indirect - Volatility of markets

‡ Environmental Impact

Threats ‡ Pests impacts
± Greater numbers ± Change in pest spectrum

‡ Sea-level rise
± Loss of agricultural land ± Salt water intrusion

Issues
‡ Water management
± Will there be sufficient water? Too much?
‡ Other demands on water sources ‡ Ability to retain water on landscape

± Water quality
‡ Potential for increased impacts on water quality ‡ Salt water intrusion on groundwater

Issues ‡ Economic risk management
± Rationalize programs ± Stable, predictable programs that can be part of long-term planning

Needs
‡ Improved future climate scenarios ‡ Increased understanding of vulnerability ‡ Capacity - research and extension support
± Engaging the university community
‡ BIOCAP Canada ‡ Atlantic Environmental Science Network Climate Change Cooperative

Thank You

Historical Crop Data Historical Climate Data Historical Environment Data

3

Crop Response Functions 4 1 Future Climate Scenarios 5 Environment Response Functions

Crop Risk Analysis

2

Environment Risk Analysis

Adaptation of agricultural production to climate change in Atlantic Canada
A. Bootsma , S. Gameda and D.W. McKenney Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Agri-

Implications« Corn
‡ ‡ ‡ 1995-1998 -> 2,327 ha of grain corn -> average yield of 5.6 t ha -1 , total production of about 13,000 tonnes per year and farm value of $2.4 million per year. assume that average yields of 7 t ha -1 could be achieved by the year 2050, when CHU could typically exceed 3000 Currently over 100,000 hectares of land seeded to small grain cereals (wheat, oats, barley, mixed grain, etc.) and silage corn. Assume that at least 50% of this area would switch to corn and soybeans assume about a 60/40 split between corn and soybeans, this would project a production of over 210,000 tonnes of grain corn from over 30,000 hectares with a farm value of over $39 million by the year 2050.

‡

Bootsma et al., 2001

Implications«Soybeans
‡ 1990's, PEI soybean acreage averaged around 3500 ha, and yielded about 2.3 t ha -1 for a total farm value of about $2 million. ‡ If we assume 20,000 hectares under soybean production by the year 2055 with an average yield of 3.0 t ha -1 , total production would be around 60,000 tonnes for a farm value of around $20 million.

Bootsma et al., 2001

Implications«Barley
‡ 1993-1997 averaged about 55,000 ha per year ‡ An average yield of 3 t ha -1 and average price of $140 per tonne resulted in total farm production of about 165,000 tonnes for a farm value of about $23 million ‡ Assuming 25,000 hectares grown (50% reduction) with an average yield of 3.15 t ha -1 -> 79,000 tonnes of barley at a farm value of about $11 million.
Bootsma et al., 2001

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