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R404 Climate Change Impacts on UK Potato Production

Publication Date: 
17 November 2011
Author/Contact :
Author/Contact: 
Jerry Knox

Contractor :
Contractor: 
Cranfield University

Full Research Project Title: Climate change impacts on UK potato production: industry options and responses
Duration: October 2008 - May 2011

Aim: To assess and quantify the likely impacts of climate change on potato production, focussing principally on yield (including quality) and water use, in selected processing and pre-pack varieties.

Industry Challenge

In GB, there will be many implications of climate change for the potato industry, including the possibility that warmer springs will result in earlier plantings with consequent impacts on canopy management, as well as changes in crop husbandry and the potential for higher yields.  The areas suitable for new potato plantings may also increase, due to changing local soil and agroclimate conditions.  However, a reduction in the availability and reliability of water supplies may lead to a shift in cropping to parts of the country where there is less reliance on supplemental irrigation.  But equally, there may be areas (and cultivars) where irrigation is not currently required, which may require irrigation. 

Collaboration

Cranfield University, Cambridge University Farm (CUF)

Approach

The study used a potato crop growth model to assess crop production impacts, and GIS modelling and mapping to assess irrigation demand and water resource impacts. 

Objectives:

a)  Modelling potato crop growth and production.
b)  Assessment of the impacts on climate change on potatoes (1 variety).
c)  Extending DSSAT model calibration to other varieties (processing and pre-pack).
d)  Assess the impacts of climate change on selected potato varieties.
e)  Assess the sensitivity of climate change on crop husbandry and soil suitability.
f)  Mapping impacts on production, water demand and water resource stress.

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