The Journal of Agricultural Science

Climate Change and Agriculture

Adaptation to increasing severity of phoma stem canker on winter oilseed rape in the UK under climate change

A. P. BARNESa1 c1, A. WREFORDa1, M. H. BUTTERWORTHa2, M. A. SEMENOVa2, D. MORANa1, N. EVANSa2 and B. D. L. FITTa2

a1 Land Economy Group, Research Division, SAC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK

a2 Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK

SUMMARY

Various adaptation strategies are available that will minimize or negate predicted climate change-related increases in yield loss from phoma stem canker in UK winter oilseed rape (OSR) production. A number of forecasts for OSR yield, national production and subsequent economic values are presented, providing estimates of impacts on both yield and value for different levels of adaptation. Under future climate change scenarios, there will be increasing pressure to maintain yields at current levels. Losses can be minimized in the short term (up to the 2020s) with a ‘low’-adaptation strategy, which essentially requires some farmer-led changes towards best management practices. However, the predicted impacts of climate change can be negated and, in most cases, improved upon, with ‘high’-adaptation strategies. This requires increased funding from both the public and private sectors and more directed efforts at adaptation from the producer. Most literature on adaptation to climate change has had a conceptual focus with little quantification of impacts. It is argued that quantifying the impacts of adaptation is essential to provide clearer information to guide policy and industry approaches to future climate change risk.

(Received May 05 2010)

(Accepted June 01 2010)

(Online publication August 18 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: Andrew.Barnes@sac.ac.uk

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