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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Impacts of climate change on grain sorghum yield in the Ogallala Aquifer region, United States of America)

item Paul, George
item Annudai, Anandhi
item P.v., Vara prasad
item Staggenborg, Scott
item Gowda, Prasanna
item Rice, Charles

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/16/2011
Publication Date: 12/5/2011
Citation: Paul, G., Annudai, A., P.V., V.V., Staggenborg, S.A., Gowda, P., Rice, C.W. 2011. Impacts of climate change on grain sorghum yield in the Ogallala Aquifer region, United States of America [abstract]. American Geophysical Union, American Geophysical Union meeting, December 15-19, 2008, San Francisco, California. 2008 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Groundwater levels in the Ogallala Aquifer region, covering eight states in the central United States, are fast declining due to excessive pumping for irrigated agriculture. In addition to declining water levels, the changing climatic conditions are making sustainable crop production in the region a challenging task. The objective of this study was to generate and evaluate a set of future grain sorghum production scenarios for the Ogallala Aquifer region with possible future climates. Future climate scenarios were derived from the three regional climate models (RCMs): (1) Canadian RCM (CRCM), (2) Regional Climate Model (RegCM3) and (3) the Hadley Regional Model (HRM3). These three models were a part of the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP). The RCMs were nested within the Atmosphere/Ocean Global Climate Model (AOGCM) for the past (1971-2000) and future (2041-2070) periods for A2 emission scenario. The A2 emission scenario is characterized by a more divided world with increasing population and fragmented technological changes. Grain sorghum yields for hybrid variety 'Pioneer 8333' were simulated across the Ogallala Aquifer region using the CERES-Sorghum model available in the DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer), a suite of crop simulation models. For the simulation, the planting date and plant density were set at June 5 and 16 plants per square meter, respectively. For the A2 emission scenario, simulation results showed a decrease in the grain sorghum yield. Results of the study provided critical information to devise long-term strategies to cope with impacts of climate change and variability on water use and crop production in the Ogallala Aquifer region. However, further research is necessary to account for elevated carbon dioxide on sorghum yield.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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