Analysis of farm performance in Europe under different climatic and management conditions to improve understanding of adaptive capacity

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (RIVM/MNP) P.O. Box 1 3720 BA Bilthoven The Netherlands
Climatic Change (Impact Factor: 3.63). 09/2007; 84(3):403-422. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-007-9242-7

ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is to improve understanding of the adaptive capacity of European agriculture to climate change. Extensive
data on farm characteristics of individual farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) have been combined with climatic
and socio-economic data to analyze the influence of climate and management on crop yields and income and to identify factors
that determine adaptive capacity. A multilevel analysis was performed to account for regional differences in the studied relationships.
Our results suggest that socio-economic conditions and farm characteristics should be considered when analyzing effects of
climate conditions on farm yields and income. Next to climate, input intensity, economic size and the type of land use were
identified as important factors influencing spatial variability in crop yields and income. Generally, crop yields and income
are increasing with farm size and farm intensity. However, effects differed among crops and high crop yields were not always
related to high incomes, suggesting that impacts of climate and management differ by impact variable. As farm characteristics
influence climate impacts on crop yields and income, they are good indicators of adaptive capacity at farm level and should
be considered in impact assessment models. Different farm types with different management strategies will adapt differently.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The studies on anthropogenic climate change performed in the last decade over Europe show consistent projections of increases in temperature and different patterns of precipitation with widespread increases in northern Europe and decreases over parts of southern and eastern Europe. In many countries and in recent years there is a tendency towards cereal grain yield stagnation and increased yield variability. Some of these trends may have been influenced by the recent climatic changes over Europe.A set of qualitative and quantitative questionnaires on perceived risks and foreseen impacts of climate and climate change on agriculture in Europe was distributed to agro-climatic and agronomy experts in 26 countries. Europe was divided into 13 Environmental Zones (EZ). In total, we had 50 individual responses for specific EZ. The questionnaires provided both country and EZ specific information on the: (1) main vulnerabilities of crops and cropping systems under present climate; (2) estimates of climate change impacts on the production of nine selected crops; (3) possible adaptation options as well as (4) adaptation observed so far. In addition we focused on the overall awareness and presence of warning and decision support systems with relevance for adaptation to climate change.The results show that farmers across Europe are currently adapting to climate change, in particular in terms of changing timing of cultivation and selecting other crop species and cultivars. The responses in the questionnaires show a surprisingly high proportion of negative expectations concerning the impacts of climate change on crops and crop production throughout Europe, even in the cool temperate northern European countries.The expected impacts, both positive and negative, are just as large in northern Europe as in the Mediterranean countries, and this is largely linked with the possibilities for effective adaptation to maintain current yields. The most negative effects were found for the continental climate in the Pannonian zone, which includes Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. This region will suffer from increased incidents of heat waves and droughts without possibilities for effectively shifting crop cultivation to other parts of the years. A wide range of adaptation options exists in most European regions to mitigate many of the negative impacts of climate change on crop production in Europe. However, considering all effects of climate change and possibilties for adaptation, impacts are still mostly negative in wide regions across Europe.Research highlights▶ Farmers in Europe are currently adapting to climate change by changing crops and management. ▶ The expected impacts of climate change are just as large in northern Europe as in the Mediterranean countries. ▶ The most negative effects were found for the Pannonia, including Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
    European Journal of Agronomy 01/2011; 34(2):96-112. · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The impact of climate change on European agriculture is subject to a significant uncertainty, which reflects the intertwined nature of agriculture. This issue involves a large number of processes, ranging from field to global scales, which have not been fully integrated yet. In this study, we intend to help bridging this gap by quantifying the effect of farm-scale autonomous adaptations in response to changes in climate. To do so, we use a modelling framework coupling the STICS generic crop model to the AROPAj microeconomic model of European agricultural supply. This study provides a first estimate of the role of such adaptations, consistent at the European scale while detailed across European regions. Farm-scale autonomous adaptations significantly alter the impact of climate change over Europe, by widely alleviating negative impacts on crop yields and gross margins. They significantly increase European production levels. However, they also have an important and heterogeneous impact on irrigation water withdrawals, which exacerbate the differences in ambient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations among climate change scenarios.
    Ecological Economics 03/2013; 87:1-14. · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Towards 2050, climate change is one of the possible drivers that will change the farming landscape, but market, policy and technological development may be at least equally important. In the last decade, many studies assessed impacts of climate change and specific adaptation strategies. However, adaptation to climate change must be considered in the context of other driving forces that will cause farms of the future to look differently from today’s farms. In this paper we use a historical analysis of the influence of different drivers on farm structure, complemented with literature and stakeholder consultations, to assess future structural change of farms in a region under different plausible futures. As climate change is one of the drivers considered, this study thus puts climate change impact and adaptation into the context of other drivers. The province of Flevoland in the north of The Netherlands was used as case study, with arable farming as the main activity. To account for the heterogeneity of farms and to indicate possible directions of farm structural change, a farm typology was developed. Trends in past developments in farm types were analyzed with data from the Dutch agricultural census. The historical analysis allowed to detect the relative importance of driving forces that contributed to farm structural changes. Simultaneously, scenario assumptions about changes in these driving forces elaborated at global and European levels, were downscaled for Flevoland, to regional and farm type level in order to project impacts of drivers on farm structural change towards 2050. Input from stakeholders was also used to detail the downscaled scenarios and to derive historical and future relationships between drivers and farm structural change. These downscaled scenarios and future driver-farm structural change relationships were used to derive quantitative estimations of farm structural change at regional and farm type level in Flevoland. In addition, stakeholder input was used to also derive images of future farms in Flevoland. The estimated farm structural changes differed substantially between the two scenarios. Our estimations of farm structural change provide a proper context for assessing impacts of and adaptation to climate change in 2050 at crop and farm level
    Landscape Ecology 01/2012; 27(4):509-527. · 2.90 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 23, 2014