Iconic Agricultural Crops: Climate Change Impacts on Peanut, Cotton, and Corn in Georgia and Florida - Florida Climate Institute

Contact Person: Jones, James W.

Collaborators: G. Baigorria, J. Boote, Clyde Fraisse, K. G. Hoogenboom, K.T. Ingram, J. Paz, C. Roncoli, V. Misra

Institutions: University of Florida, University of Georgia, Florida State University

Funding Agency: Bipartisan Policy Center National Commission on Energy Policy

Start: October 2009    End: September 2010

Status: Funded

Filed Under: AgricultureClimate SciencesExtension

Abstract: Farmers are concerned about climate change, how it might affect their systems, and what they should be doing or planning in response to anticipated changes in climate. This project will make use of the IPCC AR4 climate change scenarios, downscaled to the Georgia and North Florida, to assess potential impacts on three major crops grown in these states: cotton, peanut, and corn. We will work with Dr. K. Hayhoe to obtain downscaled realizations of climate change scenarios, ensuring that the most appropriate IPCC models and methods are used. The downscaled climate scenarios will be used to simulate changes in productivity and irrigation requirements for the three crops, and it will include adaptation options that farmers would likely use as climate changes. The DSSAT Cropping System Model will be used to simulate all combinations of climate scenarios, locations, soils, and management options, with and without irrigation, and with and without direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis to evaluate changes in yield and water requirements. This model has been widely tested in Georgia and Florida, and it was recently improved to incorporate the latest knowledge about CO2 responses of the different crops. Prior to the analysis, a summary of prior model evaluations in these states will be prepared to establish its utility for use in the climate change assessments. Simulated yield and irrigation requirements will be analyzed and summarized in maps, tables, graphs, and reports to discuss with stakeholders and to present to the granting agency. Stakeholder meetings will be used to engage them in the analyses and to learn from them what information they need to better prepare for climate change and how much adaptation may cost them, or if it is even possible. The work will build on the considerable experience of the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC), making use of the tools and methods developed by this program and used for assessment of climate risk in agriculture.