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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324950

Title: Climate variability effects on agriculture land use and soil services

item Hatfield, Jerry
item DOLD, CHRISTIAN - Orise Fellow

Submitted to: Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosystems
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/5/2016
Publication Date: 3/22/2017
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Dold, C. 2017. Climate variability effects on agriculture land use and soil services. In: Al-Kaisi, M.M., Lowery, B., editors. Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosystems. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. p. 25-50. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-805317-1.00002-6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Climate change is occurring around the world and impacts the ability to produce agricultural crops because of changing land use patterns and variation in production among years. Temperature and precipitation are the two climatic variables exerting the largest impact on agriculture production because of their direct impact on the rate of growth and the ability to produce harvestable products. Air temperatures are projected to increase with the occurrence of more extremes during the summer growing season while precipitation amounts are projected to increase in the mid-latitudes with a shift in seasonality of precipitation with greater amounts in the spring and less in the summer and with greater occurrences of extreme events. These changes in climate are projected to expand the ranges for some crops and increase the variation in production among years and regions. Utilization of agroclimatic indices to assess the suitability of a region provides a robust framework for incorporating the climatic variables as temperature and precipitation represent the dominant factors for climate while soil water holding capacity is the dominant soil factor for suitability. Given that soil water holding capacity is one of the critical factors determining suitability for crop production and production levels, changes in soil water availability will directly affect production. Enhancing the soil organic matter content offers one method to offset the impacts of climate variation.