Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.agsy.2023.103633
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Limited potential of irrigation to prevent potato yield losses in Germany under climate change
Author Egerer, S.; Fajardo Puente, A.; Peichl, M.; Rakovec, O. ORCID logo ; Samaniego, L. ORCID logo ; Schneider, U. A.
Source Titel Agricultural Systems
Year 2023
Department CHS
Volume 207
Page From art. 103633
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Statistical yield modelling; Irrigation water management; Climate change adaptation; Climate change impact
Abstract CONTEXT
Climate models project higher temperatures and a substantial net water deficit during the summer months over Germany until the end of the 21st century. The agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to changing weather and climate conditions.
In this study, we examine the role of irrigation for potato yields as a climate change adaptation measure in Northeast Lower Saxony (Germany). The region represents the largest irrigated area in Germany and is one of the main growing areas of potatoes.
We develop a statistical multivariate regression model to investigate whether regional climate and irrigation data at the monthly and county level are suitable to describe potato yield variability from 1978 to 2018. Irrigation is estimated based on the climatic water balance and crop water demand. These estimates are calibrated against irrigation data from local agencies to account for realistic monthly water withdrawals. We analyze future yield changes based on climate model projections for the 21st century and different irrigation scenarios.
We find that the potato yield will decrease significantly by 18% on average until 2050 with climate projection uncertainty of ±6.4% under the high emission scenario RCP 8.5 and without irrigation. Irrigation at current levels could compensate for about 54% of these yield losses. Doubling the amount of irrigation minimizes yield losses by as much as 80%. Under the low (middle) emission scenario RCP 2.6 (RCP 4.5), potato yield are projected to decrease moderately by 4.5% ± 3.4% (5.4% ± 2.8%) with irrigation at current levels. We show that the yield losses mainly originate from higher temperatures during the summer. Our analysis indicates that the capacity of irrigation to minimize yield losses is limited. Strengthening climate change mitigation efforts may be more effective in preventing yield losses. However, the effect of elevated CO2 might buffer the high yield losses, especially in RCP 8.5.
SIGNIFICANCE The studies supports farmers and decision makers in assessing future risks in potato yields. It can guide policymakers in allocating economic resources to cope with climate change.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Egerer, S., Fajardo Puente, A., Peichl, M., Rakovec, O., Samaniego, L., Schneider, U. A. (2023):
Limited potential of irrigation to prevent potato yield losses in Germany under climate change
Agric. Syst. 207 , art. 103633 10.1016/j.agsy.2023.103633