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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhanced System Models and Decision Support Tools to Optimize Water Limited Agriculture

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: Global warming likely reduces crop yield and water availability of the dryland cropping systems in the U.S. central Great Plains

Authors
item Ko, Jonghan -
item Ahuja, Lajpat

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 18, 2013
Publication Date: December 30, 2013
Citation: Ko, J., Ahuja, L.R. 2013. Global warming likely reduces crop yield and water availability of the dryland cropping systems in the U.S. central Great Plains. Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology. 16(4):233-242.

Interpretive Summary: We investigated impacts of climate change on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow and wheat-corn-fallow in the Central Great Plains (Akron in Colorado, USA) using prevailing crop models (CERES 4.0 crop modules in RZWQM2). The climate change scenarios for carbon dioxide, temperature, and precipitation were produced by 22 general circulation model projections for Colorado. The climate change for years 2050 and 2075 was super-imposed on measured 30 year baseline climate data (1989-2008). For all the cropping rotations and projection years, simulated yields of wheat and corn decreased significantly with increasing temperatures. The yield declines due to the elevated temperatures should be attributable to shortening of crop maturity duration and concurrent decreases in soil water and evapotranspiration. The model also projected to decrease in crop yields for the combined climate change scenarios of carbon dioxide, temperature, and precipitation in the dryland cropping rotations.

Technical Abstract: We investigated impacts of GCM-projected climate change on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow and wheat-corn-fallow in the Central Great Plains (Akron in Colorado, USA) using the CERES 4.0 crop modules in RZWQM2. The climate change scenarios for CO2, temperature, and precipitation were produced by 22 GCM projections for Colorado based on the A1B scenario. The climate change for years 2050 and 2075 was super-imposed on measured 30 year baseline climate data (1989-2008). For all the cropping rotations and projection years, simulated yields of wheat and corn decreased significantly (p<0.05) with increasing temperatures. The yield declines due to the elevated temperatures should be attributable to shortening of crop maturity duration and concurrent decreases in soil water and evapotranspiration. The model also projected to decrease in crop yields for the combined climate change scenarios of CO2, temperature, and precipitation in the dryland cropping rotations.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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