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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342015

Research Project: Resilient Management Systems and Decision Support Tools to Optimize Agricultural Production and Watershed Responses from Field to National Scale

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: Potential impact of future climate change on sugarcane under dryland conditions in Mexico

Author
item Baez-gonzalez, Alma - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item Kiniry, James
item Meki, Manyowa - Texas Agrilife Research
item Williams, Jimmy - Texas Agrilife Research
item Alvarez-cilva, Marcelino - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item Ramos-gonzalez, Jose - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)
item Magallanes-estala, Agustin - Instituto Nacional De Investigaciones Forestales Y Agropecuarias (INIFAP)

Submitted to: Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2018
Publication Date: 3/2/2018
Citation: Baez-Gonzalez, A.D., Kiniry, J.R., Meki, M.N., Williams, J.R., Alvarez-Cilva, M., Ramos-Gonzalez, J.L., Magallanes-Estala, A. 2018. Potential impact of future climate change on sugarcane under dryland conditions in Mexico. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 204:515-528. https://doi.org/10.1111/jac.12278.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jac.12278

Interpretive Summary: Future climate change effects on common sugarcane varieties can guide decision-making and help ensure the economic stability of numerous rural households. This study assessed the potential impact of future climatic change on a widely grown sugarcane cultivar in Mexico. Climate change impacts were evaluated for dryland conditions in two regions. The goal was to identify the key climate factors influencing yield under various climate change scenarios. The Almanac model was used to simulate sugarcane development and yield under current and future climate conditions. Management, soil and climate data from farm sites in Jalisco (Pacific region) and San Luis Potosi (Northeastern Mexico) were used to simulate baseline yields. The baseline climatic scenario was developed with 30 years of past weather data. Future climate for 2021-2050 we estimated by adding forecasted climate values from global circulation models to baseline values. Climate change impacts were assessed by comparing baseline yields with those in future decades. Climatic change during 2021-2050 had a positive impact on sugarcane yields in the two regions, with increases of 1 to 13 % (0.6 to 8.0 Mg ha-1). The midsummer drought or canicula that is usually more intense in the Pacific region, reduced plant weights -0.6 to -1.7 Mg ha-1 in July-August. Thus, planting in October and November should be avoided. In both regions, harvest may be one to two months earlier to increase production and avoid early flowering. Integrating pest and diseases under climate change in future crop modeling will fine-tune yield forecasting.

Technical Abstract: Assessments of impacts of future climate change on widely grown sugarcane varieties can guide decision-making at various levels and help ensure the economic stability of numerous rural households. This study assessed the potential impact of future climatic change on CP 72-2086 the most widely grown sugarcane cultivar in Mexico. Climate change impacts were evaluated for dryland conditions in two geographically distant regions. The goal was to identify the key climate factors influencing yield under various climate change scenarios. The Almanac model was used to simulate sugarcane development and yield under current and future climate conditions. Management, soil and climate data from farm sites in Jalisco (Pacific region) and San Luis Potosi (Northeastern Mexico) were used to simulate baseline yields. The baseline climatic scenario was developed with 30-yr historical data from weather stations close to the sites. Future climate for three decadal periods (2021-2050) were constructed by adding forecasted climate values from downscaled outputs of global circulation models to baseline values. Climate change impacts were assessed by comparing baseline yields with those in future decades under the A2 scenario and a business-as-usual crop management scenario. A multiple correlation analysis showed climatic change during 2021-2050 having positive impacts on sugarcane yields in the two regions, with an increase of 1 to 13 % (0.6 to 8.0 Mg ha-1). The midsummer drought or canicula that is usually more intense in the Pacific region caused an above-ground biomass reduction of -0.6 to -1.7 Mg ha-1 in July-August; thus, planting in October and November must be avoided. In both sugarcane regions, harvest may be shortened or advanced by one to two months in order to achieve increases in production and avoid early inflorescence that negatively impact sugarcane yields, to an estimated loss of -49 Mg ha-1month-1 of sucrose. There is need to integrate the simulation of pest and diseases under climate change in crop modeling so as to fine-tune yield forecasting.