With 2014 reported as the warmest year since records began, we ignore the implications for agriculture in the UK in the medium to long term at our peril, according to scientists at the James Hutton Institute.
The issue is not just rising temperatures, but the type of weather, which trends suggest are becoming more extreme, particularly rainfall patterns.
Theme Leader for Sustainable Production Systems, Tim Daniell, said as the climate changes, the sector – and its research and development – can anticipate new circumstances and adapt resources and practices accordingly. Adrian Newton, a senior cereal pathologist, says it will lead to alteration in the key pathogens farmers have to manage. Soil physicist Ken Loades said increased rainfall intensity would lead to greater levels of soil erosion.
Studies suggest there may be an opportunity to increase cropped land area, especially in Scotland.
For further information please visit www.hutton.ac.uk