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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351303

Research Project: Adaptation of Crops to Increased Carbon Dioxide and Warming

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

Title: Ratooning as an adaptive management tool for recent and projected climatic change for rice systems in the southern Mississippi Valley

Author
item Ziska, Lewis
item Fleisher, David
item LINSCOMBE, STEVEN - LSU Agcenter

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/14/2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Citation: Ziska, L.H., Fleisher, D.H., Linscombe, S. 2018. Ratooning as an adaptive management tool for recent and projected climatic change for rice systems in the southern Mississippi Valley. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 263:409-416.

Interpretive Summary: The effect of climate uncertainty on recent and projected increases in surface temperatures is well-documented. For agriculture, increasing temperature can negatively affect crop production, but the degree of impact will depend, in part, on how the crop is managed. Here we examine for rice, one of the most important export crops in the U.S., if rising temperatures could favor the practice of ratooning. Ratooning is a management practice whereby a second rice crop is derived following the main crop—but only if the growing season and temperatures are sufficiently warm enough. We looked at both recent and projected temperature increases along a north to south transect where rice is grown along the lower Mississippi valley. The recent and projected increases in temperature and seasonality indicate that ratooning could already be adopted in Avoyelles Parish, and is potentially possible as far north as Cape Girardeau County (37oN) in Southeastern Missouri by the end of the 21st century. While additional information regarding possible effects of heat stress, water availability, and other factors will be necessary to fully assess ratooning potential, our research indicated that ongoing increases in temperature and season length may allow agronomic management practices, such as ratooning, to adapt rice production to climatic change.

Technical Abstract: The effect of climate change on recent and projected increases in surface temperatures is well-documented. For agriculture, such changes can impact crop phenology and production, but the degree of impact will depend, in part, on contemporaneous changes in crop management. In the current study, we quantified recent (last 40 years) and projected (to 2095) changes in air temperature, and associated changes in growing season duration for rice along a latitudinal north-south gradient of the lower Mississippi valley. Recent and projected data indicated an ongoing increase in air temperature and season length with latitudes above ~31oN. We then applied the DD50 growing degree day model to these data to determine if ratooning, a management practice that produces a second rice harvest with minimal resource input, could be employed. The model was used relative to the southernmost location, Cameron Parish, where the season length and daily temperatures currently allow for ratooning to be a common practice. The recent and projected increases in temperature and seasonality indicate that ratooning could already be adopted in Avoyelles Parish, and is potentially possible as far north as Cape Girardeau County (37oN) by the end of the 21st century. While additional information regarding possible effects of heat stress, water availability, and other factors will be necessary to fully assess ratooning potential, our research indicated that ongoing increases in temperature and season length may allow agronomic management practices, such as ratooning, to adapt rice production to climatic uncertainty.