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5 questions about the consequences of climate change for farmers

5 questions about the consequences of climate change for farmers

The consequences of climate change for farmers and horticulturalists have been known for some time. Several researchers are working on this. However, the consequences are different for each company, each crop and each region. Climate change is a multi-headed beast.

Who Maps Climate Damage to Agriculture?

All over the world, and certainly in the Netherlands as well, research is being conducted on the consequences of climate change for agriculture. The institutes involved in this include KNMI and Wageningen University & Research. In the Climate Adaptation Agriculture work programme, LTO Nederland, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Federation of Water Boards, Provincial and Municipalities and the Dutch Association of Insurers are working together.

What is the purpose of this work programme?

By the end of this year, risks, bottlenecks and opportunities in climate adaptation were to be identified for each sector and type of land use. In addition, measures are being prepared to solve bottlenecks and seize opportunities. The goal is that by 2030, all entrepreneurs in agriculture and horticulture will be ready to deal effectively with changes in the climate. This provides farmers with a comprehensive overview of climate change preparedness options.

What changes affect Dutch agriculture the most?

These are temperature changes, precipitation, evaporation, and extreme weather conditions. In all KNMI climate change scenarios, the temperature rises in the Netherlands, especially in winter. Hot summers and mild winters are more common. The amount of precipitation increases in all seasons except summer. Evaporation will increase by 3 to 7 percent until 2050. In summer this will increase by 4 to 11 percent.

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What does this mean for different crops?

The Open Crops and Climate Resilience study looked at a number of crops. The greatest dangers to potatoes are, for example, wet spring, wet autumn and prolonged dampness in summer. Corn can tolerate heat well, but severe drought inhibits growth.

Are there opportunities also due to climate change?

Research has also been conducted on this topic. The benefits of Dutch agriculture are mainly due to our innovative strength, which creates new export products. Think about breeding and water techniques. The starting points for Dutch farmers and horticulturalists are also more suitable than for countries around the Mediterranean, for example, where some crops will not be possible.