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Mitter, H; Heumesser, C; Schmid, E.
(2015): Spatial modeling of robust crop production portfolios to assess agricultural vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
LAND USE POLICY. 2015; 46: 75-90. FullText FullText_BOKU

Agricultural vulnerability to climate change is likely to vary considerably between agro-environmental regions. Exemplified on Austrian cropland, we aim at (i) quantifying climate change impacts on agricultural vulnerability which is approximated by the indicators crop yields and gross margins, (ii) developing robust crop production portfolios for adaptation, and (iii) analyzing the effect of agricultural policies and risk aversion on the choice of crop production portfolios. We have employed a spatially explicit, integrated framework to assess agricultural vulnerability and adaptation. It combines a statistical climate change model for Austria and the period 2010-2040, a crop rotation model, the bio-physical process model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate), and a portfolio optimization model. We find that under climate change, crop production portfolios include higher shares of intensive crop management practices, increasing average crop yields by 2-15% and expected gross margins by 3-18%, respectively. The results depend on the choice of adaptation measures and on the level of risk aversion and vary by region. In the semi-arid eastern parts of Austria, average dry matter crop yields are lower but gross margins are higher than in western Austria due to bio-physical and agronomic heterogeneities. An abolishment of decoupled farm payments and a threefold increase in agri-environmental premiums would reduce nitrogen inputs by 23-33%, but also crop yields and gross margins by 18-37%, on average. From a policy perspective, a twofold increase in agri-environmental premiums could effectively reduce the trade-offs between crop production and environmental impacts. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Heumesser Christine
Mitter Hermine
Schmid Erwin

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Climate change impact
Agricultural vulnerability
Portfolio optimization
Agricultural policy
Agri-environmental payment

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