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LSA Kolloquium am 16.03.2017

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Colloquium on 16.03.2017.

Where: Building 45, Seminar room (Institute LSA)

Start: 10 a.m.

 

Dr. Anne Gobin

(Project Manager 'Agri-environment & Climate Change' at VITO, Belgium)

 

Agrometeorological risks and climate smart agriculture

Abstract:

Agricultural production is to a great extent determined by weather conditions. A chain of risk approach allows for investigating the hypothesis that meteorological risks can act as drivers for agricultural innovation. Extreme Value theory and spatial interpolation were used to model return level maps of frost, heat stress, drought, waterlogging and field access. The degree of temporal overlap between these adverse weather events and sensitive periods in the agricultural system was determined using a bio-physically based modelling framework. The combination of multiple adverse weather conditions explained low arable yields.

Recent trends in optical remote sensing encompass advances in spatial, spectral and temporal resolution (e.g. UAV, Sentinel suite, Hyperspectral cameras), and provide unprecedented opportunities to improve crop monitoring and modelling. Understanding and predicting crop phenology is important for timely crop management and ultimately for yield estimates. At the same time phenological development can help crop classification at the parcel level across a region or can help estimate damages.

Climate change and projected climatological conditions had a clear impact on phenological processes, and subsequently also on crop growth, carbon sequestration and the soil water balance. The effects of fertilisation and water use efficiency under increased CO2 concentrations did not compensate for the impact of adverse temperature and water stress on agricultural crops. Overall a larger variability was projected for biomass production and yields under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios as compared to current production levels.

A transdisciplinary approach combined expert interviews, farmers’ focus groups, fuzzy inference and geographical information system was augmented to assess agro-ecosystem vulnerability. Resulting maps of cropland vulnerability to heavy rain and grassland vulnerability to drought identified vulnerable and resilient zones. Farmers’ risk management was analysed using questionnaires, farmers’ focus groups and economic modelling methods. Adaptation options favoured field management and crop rotation, while irrigation was not always justified. Insurances are projected to become more popular for an increasing amount of weather events. Farmers relied on farmer to farmer networks for innovation and preferred on-farm strategies to cope with extreme weather events.

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