Combined analysis of climate, technological and price changes on future arable farming systems in Europe

J. Wolf, Argyris Kanellopoulos, J. Kros, H. Webber, G. Zhao, W. Britz, G.J. Reinds, F. Ewert, W. de Vries

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Abstract

In this study, we compare the relative importance of climate change to technological, management, price and policy changes on European arable farming systems. This required linking four models: the SIMPLACE crop growth modelling framework to calculate future yields under climate change for arable crops; the CAPRI model to estimate impacts on global agricultural markets, specifically product prices; the bio-economic farm model FSSIM to calculate the future changes in cropping patterns and farm net income at the farm and regional level; and the environmental model INTEGRATOR to calculate nitrogen (N) uptake and losses to air and water. First, the four linked models were applied to analyse the effect of climate change only or a most likely baseline (i.e. B1) scenario for 2050 as well as for two alternative scenarios with, respectively, strong (i.e. A1-b1) and weak economic growth (B2) for five regions/countries across Europe (i.e. Denmark, Flevoland, Midi Pyrenées, Zachodniopomorski and Andalucia). These analyses were repeated but assuming in addition to climate change impacts, also the effects of changes in technology and management on crop yields, the effects of changes in prices and policies in 2050, and the effects of all factors together. The outcomes show that the effects of climate change to 2050 result in higher farm net incomes in the Northern and Northern-Central EU regions, in practically unchanged farm net incomes in the Central and Central-Southern EU regions, and in much lower farm net incomes in Southern EU regions compared to those in the base year. Climate change in combination with improved technology and farm management and/or with price changes towards 2050 results in a higher to much higher farm net incomes. Increases in farm net income for the B1 and A1-b1 scenarios are moderately stronger than those for the B2 scenario, due to the smaller increases in product prices and/or yields for the B2 scenario. Farm labour demand slightly to moderately increases towards 2050 as related to changes in cropping patterns. Changes in N2O emissions and N leaching compared to the base year are mainly caused by changes in total N inputs from the applied fertilizers and animal manure, which in turn are influenced by changes in crop yields and cropping patterns, whereas NH3 emissions are mainly determined by assumed improvements in manure application techniques. N emissions and N leaching strongly increase in Denmark and Zachodniopomorski, slightly decrease to moderately increase in Flevoland and Midi-Pyrenées, and strongly decrease in Andalucia, except for NH3 emissions which zero to moderately decrease in Flevoland and Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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