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Adapting crops and cropping systems to future climates to ensure food security: The role of crop modelling

Matthews, Robin B., Rivington, Mike, Muhammed, Shibu, Newton, Adrian C., Hallett, Paul D.
Global food security 2013 v.2 no.1 pp. 24-28
carbon footprint, climate, climate change, crop models, crop production, cropping systems, crops, decision support systems, diet, education, farmers, food production, food security, nutrients, production technology, risk assessment, simulation models, temperature
Food production systems in the next decades need to adapt, not only to increase production to meet the demand of a higher population and changes in diets using less land, water and nutrients, but also to reduce their carbon footprint and to warmer temperatures and altered precipitation patterns resulting from climate change. Crop simulation models offer a research tool for evaluating trade-offs of these potential adaptations and can form the basis of decision-support systems for farmers, and tools for education and training. We suggest that there are four areas in adapting crops and cropping systems that crop modelling can contribute: determining where and how well crops of the future will grow; contributing to crop improvement programmes; identifying what future crop management practices will be appropriate and assessing risk to crop production in the face of greater climate variability.