European wheat lacks climate resilience

From EurekAlert!

Public Release: 26-Dec-2018

European wheat lacks climate resilience

European farmers need to take a new course with regard to ensuring climate-resilience of important crops such as wheat

Aarhus University

The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme. Such unpredictable weather can weaken global food security if major crops such as wheat are not sufficiently resilient – and if we are not properly prepared.

A group of European researchers, including Professor Jørgen E. Olesen from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, has found that current breeding programmes and cultivar selection practices do not provide the needed resilience to climate change.

– The current breeding programmes and cultivar selection practices do not sufficiently prepare for climatic uncertainty and variability, the authors state in a paper recently published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Not only that – the response diversity of wheat on farmers’ fields in most European countries has worsened in the past five to fifteen years, depending on country.

Researchers predict that greater variability and extremeness of local weather conditions will lead to reduced yields in wheat and increased yield variability.

– Needless to say, decreased yields are not conducive to food security, but higher yield variability also poses problems. It can lead to a market with greater speculation and price volatility. This may threaten stable access to food by the poor, which in turn can enhance political instability and migration, Jørgen E. Olesen points out.

Decreasing variation in response diversity

The researchers base their assessments on thousands of yield observations of wheat cultivars in nine European countries for qualifying how different cultivars respond to weather. The researchers identified the variation of wheat response diversity on farmers’ fields and demonstrated the relation to climate resilience.

The yield responses of all cultivars to different weather events were relatively similar within northern and central Europe, and within southern European countries – the latter particularly with regard to durum wheat. There were serious gaps in wheat resilience across all Europe, especially with regard to yield performance under abundant rain.

– The lack of response diversity can pose serious problems with regard to food security. Therefore, farmers, breeders, and dealers in seeds and grain need to pay more attention to the diversity of cultivars grown, warns Professor Jørgen E. Olesen.

Climate resilience is imperative

Wheat is an important staple food crop in Europe and is the leading source of plant protein in our diet globally, so it is important to ensure that we have climate-resilient wheat cultivars on hand.

Rain, drought, heat or cold at vulnerable times during the growing season can seriously damage yields. Wheat yield is generally sensitive to even a few days of exposure to waterlogging and to wet weather that favours disease. In addition, heat stress rather than drought sensitivity appears to be a limiting factor for adaptation of wheat to climate change in Europe.

The dominant approach of adapting crops to climate change by tailoring genotypes to the most likely long-term change is likely insufficient. The capacity of a single crop variety to maintain good yield performance under climatic variability and extremes is limited, but diversity in responses to critical weather events can effectively enhance climate resilience. Therefore, a set of cultivars with diverse responses to critical weather conditions is prerequisite to promoting crop climate resilience.

The authors stress that the need for climate resilience of staple food crops such as wheat must be better articulated. Increased awareness could foster governance of resilience through research and breeding programmes, incentives and regulation.


You can read the article “Decline in climate resilience of European wheat” published in PNAS here.

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December 26, 2018 2:10 pm

Lack of resilience in European wheat industry must be doing it a World of Good:-

“Big volumes may be the ‘new normal’ for European wheat by Karen Braun

(Reuters) – Wheat production in the European Union has seemingly entered a new realm thanks to big yields, and this trend may continue for a third consecutive year in 2016.

A combine harvester unloads grain into trailer at a field in Slupca near Poznan, Poland August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel – RTX1MOTR
The EU produces, consumes and exports the largest volume of wheat in the world. The highest-yielding wheat on the planet is also grown in Europe.

Wheat production in the EU has hit consecutive record-high levels in the last two years, and not just by a hair, by miles.

As final production reports are beginning to roll in, some analyst estimates of the 2015 wheat crop have edged out 2014’s 157 million tonnes and are pegged as high as 158 million. The recent 10-year average is 141 million tonnes.

The assist can be credited to France, Europe’s largest producer, as it added 4 million tonnes on the year for the 2015 wheat harvest. But other countries have surely contributed, as record wheat yields were observed in half of EU’s 28 countries in either 2014 or 2015.

Large harvested area has supported Europe’s recent wheat volumes, but the increase in yearly average yield, or trend yield, is driving the production train.

Given the increases to trend yield and healthy harvested area forecasts, wheat production in the EU should once again exceed 150 million tonnes in 2016 barring any extreme weather events over the next eight months.

Crop tonnage relies on both harvested area and yield, but yield has been doing the legwork for European wheat, owing mostly to research and advancements in seed technology.

Case in point: back in the early 1960s, EU wheat area was up near current levels but production volume is three times as large today. (

When “adjusting for inflation” by applying 2016’s trend yield back through a production history since 1981, a wheat volume above 150 million tonnes would have been reached one out of every three years instead of the current rate of one in 10. And the past two years would have ranked fourth- and sixth- largest.

Trend yield is still increasing in the EU, but at a diminishing rate overall, less than 1 percent per year since 2004. But that is not true for all countries.

Average yields are still increasing in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Baltic nations, where yield is still in the skyrocketing stage. (

Wheat yields in Western Europe are remarkably higher than anywhere else in the world. Yields average just under 3 tonnes per hectare in the United States but above 8 tonnes per hectare in the United Kingdom. This equates to nearly 120 bushels per acre.

Over the past two years, final yield rose above trend in most European countries following two mild winters with relatively favorable spring weather. In 2014, EU’s huge wheat crop stemmed mostly from record yields in central Europe and the United Kingdom.

In 2015, much of continental Europe descended into drought at the tail end of the season but trend-or-above yield was recorded in most countries, demonstrating in part the resilience of wheat in drier weather. (”

Paul Penrose
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 26, 2018 2:18 pm

That article is a couple of years old, so while it is/was good news, it is a bit dated. Something more current would have more impact.

Curious George
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 26, 2018 2:26 pm

Definitely. Three years ago it was a completely different climate. I see climate changing on a daily basis.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Curious George
December 27, 2018 12:15 am

Me, I’m perfectly mitigated. Every year I’m becoming hotter, more variable and extreme.

Jon Scott
Reply to  Curious George
December 27, 2018 10:16 am

That………is weather, not climate

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 26, 2018 3:02 pm

Which part of “new normal” don’t you understand?

Down from the 2015 record but part of a trend of increasing yields during warmest and most extreme decades evah

Rich Davis
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 26, 2018 4:51 pm

Hmmm, warmer, longer growing season and higher CO2. I wonder why yields are not collapsing?

Reply to  Rich Davis
December 26, 2018 9:16 pm

I know, and that gradual increase in rain pretty much everywhere ought to be destroying crops from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu.

Steve O
Reply to  Rich Davis
December 27, 2018 8:01 am

When you say it THAT way, you make it sound like more favorable growing conditions are a good thing.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 26, 2018 3:46 pm

My friends farm in Western Australia has had one of the best years eva for wheat.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Billy
December 26, 2018 5:13 pm

Just watching the (Oz) ABC weather report and the colour shaded temperature plot ranges from orange to red to purple to black as if the continent has been lowered into hell itself but then when thay just post the temperatures in numbers for various locations there are mainly 30’s, the odd 20 something and a 40 or two….. its summer in Australia…. and…..

Self serving alarmist crap from the msm relentlssly using doom laden language and graphics until they juist have to report the odd fact and have to take a cold shower just to be able to do it…

More a national broacdcaster it is nothing short of utter corruption and it seems to me to be all about the careers of the presenters, the program producers and of course the ratings.

Meanwhile on the ground it is summer. Mid to high 20’s in Tasmania, nudging 40˚C in Perth, 30’s on most of the east coast and Adelaide is hot. There is a ‘forecast’ (punt) of maybe 5 days above 40˚C somewhere which will “smash” the “previous record” (actually the existing record) of 4 days back in the mid 1940’s. And?? A statistically insignificant occurrence given only 100 to 150 tyears of data, even ignoring UHI effects. As I said, sexed up propaganda which as all about the actors eading the script.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 26, 2018 6:17 pm

“Heatwaves are caused by combinations of temperature, humidity and air movements that cause unusually high and sustained temperatures. There are parts of WA (eg. Marble Bar) that experience significant (+ 40 o C) sustained temperatures during the year, but these are not classified as heatwaves because such temperatures are not unusual and individuals living in the area have had time to acclimatise to the heat .”

“The small mining town over 100 kilometres inland from the Pilbara coastline, has been synonymous with extreme heat since recording 160 days in a row over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) in the summer of 1923-1924. It remains as the world record for the longest sequence of days above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 26, 2018 6:49 pm has 3 news excerpts every day on a sidebar when viewing the daily ssta map. The headlines are a constant and unrelenting heat waves, droughts, too much rain, not enough rains cattle/animals suffering, etc. I have used their site daily for 4 years now. Makes me wonder why anyone would want to live in Australia according to what this site shows. …

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 26, 2018 9:22 pm

Exactly right about what constitutes a heat wave.
The daily weather in Florida which we get every single day from May until October would be described in apocalyptic terms in other parts of the country.
Three or more days of Florida weather in NYC is a catastrophe.
Except it actually is not.
Even as people are far more able to counteract hot weather that in the past, whether by air conditioning or access to swimming or municipal “cooling centers”, or even simply inexpensive fans, they have had far LESS of it to deal with than folks in the past, who nonetheless survived that heat unless that person was ill or weak to begin with.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
December 27, 2018 4:51 am

yeah i noticed they were (pretty much forced) to admit the 40s were as hot before
and supposedly co2 wasnt an issue then
gotta admit this media beatup and talk of evacuating any supposed to be hot spots is annoying me
if people evacuated at this time..where to go as accom is booked out for holidays, travelling in hot weathers even more stressful and pets n livestck need to be watched and watered etc
probably more health risks in following their lousy advice

Gary Pearse
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 26, 2018 3:05 pm

So conspicuously missing is the beneficial mastodon in the room, elevated CO2! Look, we had a 15% expansion in global forest cover alone and bumper crops in everything everywhere. The globe hasnt’ warmed significantly since 1940 when 0.8C was the warming level reached since 1850- pre Industrial Revolution with ppm CO2 max of 280. Forty-two % more CO2 since 1940 and this accompanied a 40 year deep cooling that scared all the scientists and then 20 years climbing out of the ice age cometh panic to 1997 after which, an 18 year plateau that we may be descending back to with the fall from El Nino 2017.

So far, doing nothing has been the best strategy for agricultural output, CO2 is unquestionably big net positive and we are still waiting for a global warming of whatever cause that is net positive of natural variation.

Since we won’t really do anything about global warming anyway, my bet is on my “Garden of Eden Earth^тм” with peak population at 9B and abundance of all resources and consequent peace and prosperity.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 27, 2018 4:31 am

– Stephen Vizinczey
– Allan MacRae 

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 26, 2018 3:20 pm

They had a heat wave and drought…it dropped production a tiny little biddy bit…..

“– Needless to say, decreased yields are not conducive to food security, but higher yield variability also poses problems. It can lead to a market with greater speculation and price volatility. This may threaten stable access to food by the poor, which in turn can enhance political instability and migration, Jørgen E. Olesen points out.”

….not too hot…not too cold….the three bears

“. Such unpredictable weather”…..they have never been able to predict the weather

J Mac
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 26, 2018 5:16 pm

They were growing wheat in Sicily during the Roman Warm Period.
It will still be growing in Sicily in 2100, blithely oblivious to all of the ‘Climate Change’ bloviations.

No worries, mate!

December 26, 2018 2:12 pm

The article and references both use the word “climate” often, when they really mean “weather variability”.

Sweet Old Bob
December 26, 2018 2:13 pm

Looks to me like they fancy themselves experts when in reality they don’t know shinola …

michael hart
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
December 26, 2018 10:13 pm

Yup. They appear not to consider that the crops grown are actually the result of farmers making rational choices as to what best suits their own needs. This also suggests that problems due to weather variability are actually decreasing, not increasing.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
December 26, 2018 10:20 pm

And, of course, it took nineteen (19) authors to somehow figure out that all is really doom and gloom while yields are improving.

Walter Horsting
December 26, 2018 2:14 pm

Sun Cycles 24-27 ushering in a new Solar Grand Minimum will mean crop failures driving famine:

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Walter Horsting
December 26, 2018 2:22 pm

That is as much guess-work as the article in the original post. While I would like to see the CAGW crowd embarrassed by more failed predictions, I don’t want to see crop failures and famine, and I’m certainly not going to cheer lead for that kind of disaster.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
December 26, 2018 2:53 pm

Nothing to get worried about either way: these good folks, agroecologists turned socio-economists, are mixing and matching the use of both weather and climate to support their pseudo argument.
The foundation of all Malthusian/ neo-Malthusian fear mongering is the spectre of food shortages. At the time it became the justification for social Darwinism – if we run out, we’ll make sure the developed cultures survive. Today it’s the justification for authoritarian policies to “combat” climate change and in the process do away with the market economy that said in passing has pulled 95% of the world’s people out of grinding poverty and provided all the food the 7 billion of us need.

Tom Halla
December 26, 2018 2:16 pm

I would like to know what evidence there is that European weather is “more variable and extreme”.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 26, 2018 3:15 pm

Tom, don’t you read the news? They keep saying that the weather is “more variable and extreme”, so it must be true! /sarc.

As with all “projections” of this ilk, what are the chances that plant breeders, seeing any change that will impact yield (greater or less) will sit on their collective thumbs, sit in the corner and rock saying “Were all doomed”? Absolutely NONE! As far as the AGW Alarmists, that is a different story…

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 26, 2018 3:49 pm

…they had a heat wave and drought

Jon Scott
Reply to  Latitude
December 27, 2018 10:20 am

Some days have been sunny….some days not…some days rainy….SHOCKING!

son of mulder
December 26, 2018 2:20 pm

Please can we have some more money to make our wheat more resilient?

December 26, 2018 2:27 pm

Are they referring to the possibility that global cooling (a la little ice age) could practically wipe out European grain production?

Oh, silly me. Sorry.

Keith Bates
December 26, 2018 2:28 pm

Total crap. Australia already has high yield wheat cultivars for a variety of climates from dry sub-tropical regions down to cool temperate regions.

Decent plant breeding and or genetic engineering should produce suitable crops for variable and warmer seasons because we’ve been doing it here for 200 years, as have the US and Canada.

Reply to  Keith Bates
December 26, 2018 3:16 pm


Reply to  Keith Bates
December 27, 2018 4:57 am

sticking to standard breeding would be fine
last damned thing we need is GM wheat
what monmongrels created did NOT get approval
pity so few even ask why?

thats aside from people refusing to purchase or eat it

December 26, 2018 2:39 pm

For those interested in the actual paper, it’s here:
Decline in climate resilience of European wheat

Reply to  OK S.
December 26, 2018 2:41 pm

Sorry, I didn’t read the last line in the post.

December 26, 2018 2:47 pm

More fake news. The world temperature (if there is such a thing) has remained in a somewhat “pause” state going on 20 years yet we still keep getting all of these “it’s the fault of climate change” scare stories.

December 26, 2018 2:52 pm

The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme

If you omit events like the summer of 76 or the hurricane of 87

In today’s world we no longer have weather, but we have loads of extreme weather. Today, for example, was extremely dry; it didn’t rain.

Forecasting wheat yields under extreme weather conditions
The authors conclude that crop yield forecasting will have to improve to be able to cope with increasingly unprecedented weather conditions.

Reply to  fretslider
December 27, 2018 12:22 am

How can something be “increasingly unprecedented”?
Either it is unprecedented or it has happened before.

December 26, 2018 2:54 pm

Genetically Modified agriculture has been the main staple of human advancement. Why European farmers and politicians decided that 125 thousand years of human presence was to be ignored is beyond me. Unless of course, it was a reaction to having to change and adapt, particularly in the face of US agricultural pressures. Ever notice that the John Deere conbine has increased its harvesting reaper head from 16 feet to now 32 feet? It’s hard to miss the US agricultural productivity. Something that Europeans, stuck in their old ways, have a hard time to envision let alone compete. Kicking and screaming dragged into the 21st Century.

Malcolm Carter
Reply to  RiHo08
December 26, 2018 5:54 pm

Notice that the article scrupulously avoids mention of ‘genetically modified’. GM and CRISPR are obvious technologies to develop new [enter word here] tolerant varieties, yet the EU has chosen to stay with breeding programmes. Once more, ignorance, unreasoning fear and politics handicaps the European future.

December 26, 2018 2:55 pm

I think the farmers and the seed suppliers who’s livelihood relies on their practical selection of seed and creation of hybrids have forgotten more about this subject than the academics in Ivory towers who wrote the above bilge will ever know.

December 26, 2018 2:56 pm

IIRC the UK used to buy a lot of Canadian wheat until a European directive switched us to German wheat and removed most of out dietary selenium in the process. Easy to compensate if you can find shaggy ink cap mushrooms or mineral supplement pills.

Steve Reddish
December 26, 2018 3:48 pm

“The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme. Such unpredictable weather can weaken global food security if major crops such as wheat are not sufficiently resilient – and if we are not properly prepared.”

The climate IS warming, IS more extreme – there seems to be no If about that part, in their mind.

Since the weather has already changed, why the need to say crops MIGHT fail? If the change is here, the correlating result should be here.

Unless their prediction was wrong.


Steve Reddish
Reply to  Steve Reddish
December 26, 2018 3:58 pm

Or, was there a prediction of what amount of change is needed to reduce crop production, and I missed it?

All they need do to get me on board is make an actual prediction of amount of crop loss per degree of temperature rise past a stated temperature.


Tab Numlock
December 26, 2018 3:55 pm

Crop yields worldwide are up 3x since 1960. All because of things the libbies hate:

*Higher CO2
*Slight warming
*GM crops
*Fertilizer made with natgas
*Diesel powered farm equipment
*Water projects

Dave O.
Reply to  Tab Numlock
December 26, 2018 4:29 pm

Yes – As a farmer, I can attest to the fact that we have a massive surplus of all crops.

Tom Abbott
December 26, 2018 4:03 pm

From the article: “The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme. Such unpredictable weather”

The obligatory, over-the-top scargemongering about CAGW. Claims which couldn’t be proven if the author’s lives depended on it. Lots of groupthink in the article, making claims that can’t be backed up with evidence.

They are so sure of themselves, too.

nw sage
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 26, 2018 5:14 pm

“They are so sure of themselves, too.”
Of course they are – they said it, therefore they are correct! Any printed statement by the politically correct crowd is automatically 100% accurate as soon as it is printed. Just ask them if they are correcr, they’ll tell you.

December 26, 2018 4:08 pm

So to all those who believe in climate change… plant rice. 🙂

December 26, 2018 4:13 pm

Cultivars, as O.P. indicates, that are ammenable to “water-logging” & “heat stress” (apparently less so than European droughts) need to be introduced. It is gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) responsive cultivars that will be suitable; GABA in plants is induced by both abiotic (ex: drought/heat) & biotic (ex: herbivore insects) stresses.

In some kinds of grass plants heat stress induces 2.3 times more GABA synthesis than otherwise. GABA in plants, among other things (ex: pollen tubes have a gradient of GABA), is relevant because it keeps photosynthesis to keep going (I’ll skip the nuances of this) under abiotic stress.

As for “water logging”, this creates oxygen deficit in roots (hypoxia) & the plant response is to synthesize GABA (enzyme GAD plus H+ ion released from internal cell store de-carboxyl-ates glutamine —> GABA plus internal CO2). Root cell hypoxia cuts down cellular respiration (alters ratio of NAD:NADH in cell) & then the enzyme (which needs NADH) synthesizing succinic acid is not producing the intermediate molecule succinate for that cell to drive one of it’s basic cycles.

GABA can be acted on by a different plant enzyme (succinic aldehyde) to convert it into succinate. Thus root build up of it (GABA) provides a pool of substrate ready to quickly plug succinate into the cells’ Krebs cycle.

Different plant tissue & different aged plant tissue will have different GABA ranges; plus there are 24 hour cyclic changes in the level of GABA & also it’s precursor glutamate. European wheat agronomists should be looking at cultivars with appropriate GABA responses.

Another cultivar selection should take into account that with a rise in plant GABA this causes the cellular pH to rise (H+ ions got used making GABA), which in turn causes it’s synthesizer enzyme (GAD, which is activated by H+ ions) to down-shift & then the production of GABA peaks for that plant geno-type. There has been progress manipulating plants to produce more GABA.

December 26, 2018 4:15 pm

Rain, drought, heat or cold at vulnerable times during the growing season can seriously damage yields.

Let me tell you a secret I learnt from a witch: water is wet….

Shoki Kaneda
December 26, 2018 4:27 pm

What a shock that individuals and cultures act in their own self-interest to ensure survival and prosperity. Agricultural businesses are potentially the hardest hit by significant climate change, but none of them are screaming alarms. Why is that? Perhaps there is no reason to panic. If the climate warms, growing regions will move a little north. If the climate cools, a little south. As Keith observes, there are cultivated varieties adapted to different conditions in every significant agricultural category. One advantage to a global economy is the ability to adapt to climate variation.

Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
December 26, 2018 5:23 pm

Ah yes, but that’s the trap you see, the mass selling of abundant capitalist pastries is what further unhinges climate which drives cold and snowy conditions in winter, so we’ve about 10 years tops before an exponential growth of CO2 and the resulting baker’s pastries explosion alters the planet’s orbital stability, and things get colder again.

Reply to  WXcycles
December 26, 2018 8:05 pm

So… you’re saying the Belgians are waffling on this?

4 Eyes
Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
December 27, 2018 5:06 pm

Thank you Shoki. My cousin is a farmer in South Australia which runs wet some years and dry some years but rarely average. He continues to make a increasingly good living growing broad acre crops. He follows weather patterns and tries new hybrids of crops and new techniques. He has never complained about climate change. But he constantly adapts and tries new things which one of the main reasons mankind has got to where it has – adaption and creativity.

December 26, 2018 4:45 pm

‘global food security’

Shorthand for global government taking over agriculture. Billions will die.

December 26, 2018 5:01 pm

“Researchers predict that greater variability and extremeness of local weather conditions will lead to reduced yields in wheat and increased yield variability.”

Sounds like perpetual misery, poverty and extremey-ness are upon us again. Not one bit of this will occur though as doom-laden climate predictions always turn out to be wildly inaccurate and the track record shows it’s much safer to say the diametric opposites will occur instead. So in a way this is actually back-handed good news for bakers and consumers of pastries everywhere.


“The phenomenal rise in the abundance of delicious freshly-baked pastries which we experience today is directly attributable to wildly incorrect extremey climate forecasting.” – UN IPCC

December 26, 2018 5:11 pm

OT: subsurface equatorial Pacific temp confirms El Nino development is dissipating once more.

L. Anthony
December 26, 2018 5:17 pm

Early freezes, late frosts, drought and deluge are all symptoms of changes brought on by natural cycles. Europe has been hungry before… she will be hungry again. Those wheat surpluses can disappear real quick. We are only one VEI7 or GSM away from food insecurity. A little diversity in the genetics would be a good thing, even if in all honesty I don’t think it won’t be enough.

Richard Patton
Reply to  L. Anthony
December 26, 2018 7:38 pm

Oh, come on. Both you and the author of the study assume that farmers are stupid, that they won’t adjust their varieties, and their suppliers won’t be developing different varieties. Just keep people who don’t know anything about farming (Gvm’nt & Ivory Tower types) out of it and they will do just fine.

Joel O'Bryan
December 26, 2018 5:57 pm

Rent Seeking 101
First Principle
– there is always a looming existential crisis unless more funding for research is provided to provide policy answers.
ex: “…unpredictable weather can weaken global food security if major crops such as wheat are not sufficiently resilient – and if we are not properly prepared.”

Second Principle
– We’re just the group that can provide that research and communicate it to the public and policy makers.
ex: “The authors stress that the need for climate resilience of staple food crops such as wheat must be better articulated. Increased awareness could foster governance of resilience through research and breeding programmes, incentives and regulation.”

Desired outcome: Now, Show me the money!!!

Geoff Sherrington
December 26, 2018 6:05 pm

It has become tiresome to read papers that threaten bad outcomes in the near future, while not giving evidence of bad outcomes in the recent past.
When will this global warming threat start to show itself, so we can read a refreshing paper that starts “IN THE RECENT PAST we have found these detriments….”
These authors even have a reference to some recent past work, the start of which is

[HTML] Climate variation explains a third of global crop yield variability
DK Ray, JS Gerber, GK MacDonald, PC West – Nature communications, 2015 –
Many studies have examined the role of mean climate change in agriculture, but an
understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different
regions remains elusive. We use detailed crop statistics time series for~ 13,500 political
units to examine how recent climate variability led to variations in maize, rice, wheat and
soybean crop yields worldwide. While some areas show no significant influence of climate
variability, in substantial areas of the global breadbaskets,> 60% of the yield variability can …”

See, they write that “understanding of the influence of inter-annual climate variations on crop yields in different regions remains elusive.” Yet the present authors being discussed omit to stress this uncertainty in their quest to produce the panic that loosens the pocket strings of the research funding bodies. It is all so cynical.

Me, when it comes to farming yields and weather, I prefer to listen to farmers with dirt on their hands. Actual dirt, that is, not linguistic dirt. Geoff.

BTW, did you also notice the absence of evidence that the climate is becoming more heavy with variables to be feared, induced by climate change? When I study actual figures about increased forced variability, I find it is indeed a fugitive will o’ the wisp.

December 26, 2018 6:33 pm

‘The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme.’

A No True Scotsman fallacy.

It is just an assertion. Without proof or even evidence.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Gamecock
December 26, 2018 6:50 pm

You can do what I have just done for my home town, Melbourne. Maybe the many Victorian wheat growers are close enough to feel some of the same weather.
Can you see a trend to more, warmer, exceptional days? I cannot. That dotted green regression line looks quite level to me. Geoff

John F. Hultquist
December 26, 2018 7:42 pm

Turtles all the way down.

Phillip Bratby
December 26, 2018 10:33 pm

Yet more money wasted on useless “research”. The money could have been put to good use elswewhere.

December 27, 2018 12:06 am

I expect the referenced paper is a load of crap & haven’t bothered to read it. However the headline raises an interesting point; Europe, America and other advanced countries gain their high crop yields (in part) from raising monocultures. Not only does an entire region grow the same crop, it is all a clone from a single prototypical high-yield plant. This lack of genetic variation creates a situation with very low resilience and therefore creates a high risk of widespread crop failure from such things as pests and disease that would only affect a few small areas in other circumstances.

December 27, 2018 12:17 am

I seem to recollect that the world record for wheat yields was grown by a farmer in New Zealand in 2017 where a season of perfect weather and skilled crop management gave a yield of 16.791 tonnes per hectare, almost 250 bushels per acre!
The main danger to wheat crops in Europe is from frost with no snow cover, and lack of rain in the grain filling period.
In the UK we are usually lucky and have yields of wheat which vary from 8 to 10 tonnes per hectare, whereas in Eastern Europe yields can vary between 6 tonnes per hectare and zero.
In the dry summer of 2018 in the UK wheat yields averaged about 7.5 tonnes per hectare.

December 27, 2018 1:35 am

Here is a graph of the steady increase of wheat production and decrease in area harvested in Europe from FAOSTAT.

Wheat yields are mainly a function of good agricultural practices and demand pull, not of weather and climate.

Wiliam Haas
December 27, 2018 1:46 am

“The climate is not only warming, it is also becoming more variable and extreme.” The data does not support it The climate has not been any more variable and extreme than it has been in the past. The climate change that we have been experiencing is so small that it takes networks of very sophisticated sensors decades to even detect it,

December 27, 2018 3:14 am

Meanwhile, in the real world, wheat is grown over a very wide range of climate zones. This map is for the USA, but you get the idea:

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Note that, for example, hard red winter wheat is grown from Canada to south Texas.

Wheat yields continue to climb, worldwide. One of the reason is that wheat, a C3 grass, responds very, very positively to higher CO2 levels. Thanks to the good folks at here is a list of some of the papers about studies of CO2’s benefits fortriticum aestivum (wheat):

Akin, D.E., Kimball, B.A., Windham, W.R., Pinter Jr., P.J., Wall, G.W., Garcia, R.L., LaMorte, W.H. and Morrison III, W.H. 1995. Effect of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on forage quality of wheat. Animal Feed Science and Technology 53: 29-43.

Andre, M. and Du Cloux, H. 1993. Interaction of CO2 enrichment and water limitations on photosynthesis and water efficiency in wheat. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 31: 103-112.

Balaguer, L., Barnes, J.D., Panicucci, A. and Borland, A.M. 1995. Production and utilization of assimilates in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaves exposed to elevated O3 and/or CO2. New Phytologist 129: 557-568.

Barrett, D.J., Richardson, A.E. and Gifford, R.M. 1998. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase wheat root phosphate activity when growth is limited by phosphorus. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 25: 87-93.

Batts, G.R., Morison, J.I.L., Ellis, R.H., Hadley, P. and Wheeler, T.R. 1997. Effects of CO2 and temperature on growth and yield of crops of winter wheat over four seasons. European Journal of Agronomy 7: 43-52.

Bencze, S., Veisz, O. and Bedo, Z. 2005. Effect of elevated CO2 and high temperature on the photosynthesis and yield of wheat. Cereal Research Communications 33: 385-388.

Bencze, S., Veisz, O. and Bedo, Z. 2004a. Effects of high atmospheric CO2 and heat stress on phytomass, yield and grain quality of winter wheat. Cereal Research Communications 32: 75-82.

Bencze, S., Veisz, O. and Bedo, Z. 2004b. Effects of high atmospheric CO2 on the morphological and heading characteristics of winter wheat. Cereal Research Communications 32: 233-240.

Benlloch-Gonzalez, M., Bochicchio, R., Berger, J., Bramley, H. and Palta, J.A. 2014. High temperature reduces the positive effect of elevated CO2 on wheat root system growth. Field Crops Research 165: 71-78.

Bunce, J.A. 2016. Responses of soybeans and wheat to elevated CO2 in free-air and open top chamber systems. Field Crops Research 186: 78-85.

Butterly, C.R., Armstrong, R., Chen, D. and Tang, C. 2015. Carbon and nitrogen partitioning of wheat and field pea grown with two nitrogen levels under elevated CO2. Plant and Soil 391: 367-382.

Cardoso-Vilhena, J., Balaguer, L., Eamus, D., Ollerenshaw, J. and Barnes, J. 2004. Mechanisms underlying the amelioration of O3-induced damage by elevated atmospheric concentrations of CO2. Journal of Experimental Botany 55: 771-781.

Cardoso-Vilhena, J. and Barnes, J. 2001. Does nitrogen supply affect the response of wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Hanno) to the combination of elevated CO2 and O3? Journal of Experimental Botany 52: 1901-1911.

Chen, F.J., Wu, G. and Ge, F. 2004. Impacts of elevated CO2 on the population abundance and reproductive activity of aphid Sitobion avenae Fabricius feeding on spring wheat. JEN 128: 723-730.

Cheng, W. and Johnson, D. 1998. Elevated CO2, rhizosphere processes, and soil organic matter composition. Plant and Soil 202: 167-174.

Christ, R.A. and Korner, C. 1995. Responses of shoot and root gas exchange, leaf blade expansion and biomass production to pulses of elevated CO2 in hydroponic wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany 46: 1661-1667.

Dahal, K., Knowles, V.L., Plaxton, W.C. and Huner, N.P.A. 2014. Enhancement of photosynthetic performance, water use efficiency and grain yield during long-term growth under elevated CO2 in wheat and rye is growth temperature and cultivar dependent. Environmental and Experimental Botany 106: 207-220.

Deepak, S.S. and Agrawal, M. 1999. Growth and yield responses of wheat plants to elevated levels of CO2 and SO2, singly and in combination. Environmental Pollution 104: 411-419.

Derner, J.D., Tischler, C.R., Polley, H.W. and Johnson, H.B. 2004. Intergenerational above- and belowground responses of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to elevated CO2. Basic and Applied Ecology 5: 145-152.

Dijkstra, P., Schapendonk, A.H.M.C., Groenwold, K., Jansen, M. and Van de Geijn, S.C. 1999. Seasonal changes in the response of winter wheat to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration grown in open-top chambers and field tracking enclosures. Global Change Biology 5: 563-576.

Dong-Xiu, W., Gen-Xuan, W., Yong-Fei, B., Jian-Xiong, L. and Hong-Xu, R. 2002. Response of growth and water use efficiency of spring wheat to whole season CO2 enrichment and drought. Acta Botanica Sinica 44: 1477-1483.

Donnelly, A., Finnan, J., Jones, M.B. and Burke, J.I. 2005. A note on the effect of elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases on spring wheat yield in Ireland. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research 44: 141-145.

Donnelly, A., Jones, M.B., Burke, J.I. and Schnieders, B. 1999. Does elevated CO2 protect grain yield of wheat from the effects of ozone stress? Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung 54: 802-811.

Du Cloux, H.C., Andre, M., Daguenet, A. and Massimino, J. 1987. Wheat response to CO2 enrichment: Growth and CO2 exchanges at two plant densities. Journal of Experimental Botany 38: 1421-1431.

Fangmeier, A., Gruters, U., Hertstein, U., Sandhage-Hofmann, A., Vermehren, B. and Jager, H.J. 1996. Effcts of elevated CO2, nitrogen supply and tropospheric ozone on spring wheat. I. Growth and yeild. Environmental Pollution 91: 381-390.

Frank, A.B. and Bauer, A. 1996. Temperature, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide effects on spring wheat development and spikelet numbers. Crop Science 36: 659-665.

Gifford, R.M., Lambers, H. and Morison, J.I.L. 1985. Respiration of crop species under CO2 enrichment. Physiologia Plantarum 63: 351-356.

Gordon, D.C., Van Vuuren, M.M.I., Marshall, B. and Robinson, D. 1995. Plant growth chambers for the simultaneous control of soil and air temperatures, and of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Global Change Biology 1: 455-464.

Gorissen, A. 1996. Elevated CO2 evokes quantitative and qualitative changes in carbon dynamics in a plant/soil system: mechanisms and implications. Plant and Soil 187: 289-298.

Goudriaan, J. and de Ruiter, H.E. 1983. Plant growth in response to CO2 enrichment, at two levels of nitrogen and phosphorus supply: I. Dry matter, leaf area and development. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science 31: 157-169.

Grant, R.F., Wall, G.W., Kimball, B.A., Frumau, K.F.A., Pinter Jr., P.J., Hunsaker, D.J. and Lamorte, R.L. 1999. Crop water relations under different CO2 and irrigation: testing of ecosys with the free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 95: 27-51.

Gregory, P.J., Palta, J.A. and Batts, G.R. 1997. Root systems and root:mass ratio – carbon allocation under current and projected atmospheric conditions in arable crops. Plant and Soil 187: 221-228.

Grotenhuis, T., Reuveni, J. and Bugbee, B. 1997. Super-optimal CO2 reduces wheat yield in growth chamber and greenhouse environments. Advances in Space Research 20: 1901-1904.

Gutierrez, D., Gutierrez, E., Perez, P., Morcuende, R., Verdejo, A.L. and Martinez-Carrasco, R. 2009. Acclimation to future atmospheric CO2 levels increases photochemical efficiency and mitigates photochemistry inhibition by warm temperatures in wheat under field chambers. Physiologia Plantarum 137: 86-100.

Marhan, S., Demin, D., Erbs, M., Kuzyakov, Y., Fangmeier, A. and Kandeler, E. 2008. Soil organic matter mineralization and residue decomposition of spring wheat grown under elevated CO2 atmosphere. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 123: 63-68.

Masle, J. 2000. The effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on cell division rates, growth patterns, and blade anatomy in young wheat plants are modulated by factors related to leaf position, vernalization, and genotype. Plant Physiology 122: 1399-1415.

McKee, I.F. and Woodward, F.I. 1994. CO2 enrichment responses of wheat: interactions with temperature, nitrate and phosphate. New Phytologist 127: 447-453.

McKee, I.F., Bullimore, J.F. and Long, S.P. 1997. Will elevated CO2 concentrations protect the yield of wheat from O3 damage? Plant, Cell and Environment 20: 77-84.

McMaster, G.S., LeCain, D.R., Morgan, J.A., Aiguo, L. and Hendrix, D.L. 1999. Elevated CO2 increases wheat CER, leaf and tiller development, and shoot and root growth. Journal of Agronomy & Crop Science 183: 119-128.

Mishra, A.K., Rai, R. and Agrawal, S.B. 2013. Individual and interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone on tropical wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars with special emphasis on ROS generation and activation of antioxidant defense system. Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics 50: 139-149.

Mitchell, R.A.C., Lawlor, D.W., Mitchell, V.J., Gibbard, C.L., White, E.M. and Porter, J.R. 1995. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration and increased temperature on winter wheat: test of ARCWHEAT1 simulation model. Plant, Cell and Environment 18: 736-748.

Mitchell, R.A.C., Gibbard, C.L., Mitchell, V.J. and Lawlor, D.W. 1996. Effects of shading in different developmental phases on biomass and grain yield of winter wheat at ambient and elevated CO2. Plant, Cell and Environment 19: 616-621.

Monje, O. and Bugbee, B. 1998. Adaptation to high CO2 concentration in an optimal environment: radiation capture, canopy quantum yield and carbon use efficiency. Plant, Cell and Environment 21: 315-324.

Morison, J.I.L. and Gifford, R.M. 1984. Plant growth and water use with limited water supply in high CO2 concentrations. II. Plant dry weight, partitioning and water use efficiency. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 11: 375-384.

Mulholland, B.J., Craigon, J., Black, C.R., Colls, J.J., Atherton, J. and Landon, G. 1997. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide and ozone on the growth and yield of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Journal of Experimental Botany 48: 113-122.

Musgrave, M.E. and Strain, B.R. 1988. Response of two wheat cultivars to CO2 enrichment under subambient oxygen conditions. Plant Physiology 87: 346-350.

Pal, M., Rao, L.S., Srivastava, A.C., Jain, V. and Sengupta, U.K. 2003/4. Impact of CO2 enrichment and variable nitrogen supplies on composition and partitioning of essential nutrients of wheat. Biologia Plantarum 47: 227-231.

Pal, M., Rao, L.S., Jain, V., Srivastava, A.C., Pandey, R., Raj, A. and Singh, K.P. 2005. Effects of elevated CO2 and nitrogen on wheat growth and photosynthesis. Biologia Plantarum 49: 467-470.

Pleijel, H., Sild, J., Danielsson, H. and Klemedtsson, L. 1998. Nitrous oxide emissions from a wheat field in response to elevated carbon dioxide concentration and open-top chamber enclosure. Environmental Pollution 102: 167-171.

Pleijel, H., Gelang, J., Sild, E., Danielsson, H., Younis, S., Karlsson, P.-E., Wallin, G., Skarby, L. and Sellden, G. 2000. Effects of elevated carbon dioxide, ozone and water availability on spring wheat growth and yield. Physiologia Plantarum 108: 61-70.

Prior, S.A., Runion, G.B., Rogers, H.H., Torbert, H.A. and Reeves, D.W. 2005. Elevated atmospheric CO2 effects on biomass production and soil carbon in conventional and conservation cropping systems. Global Change Biology 11: 657-665.

Qiao, Y., Zhang, H., Dong, B., Shi, C., Li, Y., Zhai, H. and Liu, M. 2010. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on growth and water use efficiency of winter wheat under two soil water regimes. Agricultural Water Management 97: 1742-1748.

Rakshit, R., Patra, A.K., Pal, D., Manoj-Kumar and Singh, R. 2012. Effect of elevated CO2 and temperature on nitrogen dynamics and microbial activity during wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growth on a subtropical inceptisol in India. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 198: 452-465.

Saebo, A. and Mortensen, L.M. 1996. Growth, morphology and yield of wheat, barley and oats grown at elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration in a cool, maritime climate. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 57: 9-15.

Schulze, J. and Merbach, W. 2008. Nitrogen rhizodeposition of young wheat plants under elevated CO2 and drought stress. Biology and Fertility of Soils 44: 417-423.

Schutz, M. and Fangmeier, A. 2001. Growth and yeild responses of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Minaret) to elevated CO2 and water limitation. Environmental Pollution 114: 187-194.

Seneweera, S.P. and Conroy, J.P. 2005. Enhanced leaf elongation rates of wheat at elevated CO2: Is it related to carbon and nitrogen dynamics within the growing leaf blade? Environmental and Experimental Botany 54: 174-181.

Sharma-Natu, P., Khan, F.A. and Ghildiyal, M.C. 1997. Photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 in wheat cultivars. Photosynthetica 34: 537-543.

Sinha, P.G., Saradhi, P.P., Uprety, D.C. and Bhatnagar, A.K. 2011. Effect of elevated CO2 concentration on photosynthesis and flowering in three wheat species belonging to different ploidies. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 142: 432-436.

Sun, Y.C., Chen, F.J. and Ge, F. 2009. Elevated CO2 changes interspecific competition among three species of wheat aphids: Sitobion avenae, Rhopalosiphum padi, and Schizaphis graminum. Environmental Entomology 38: 26-34.

Tausz-Posch, S., Dempsey, R.W., Seneweera, S., Norton, R.M., Fitzgerald, G. and Tausz, M. 2015. Does a freely tillering wheat cultivar benefit more from elevated CO2 than a restricted tillering cultivar in a water-limited environment? European Journal of Agronomy 64: 21-28.

Tausz-Posch, S., Seneweera, S., Norton, R.M., Fitzgerald, G.J. and Tausz, M. 2012. Can a wheat cultivar with high transpiration efficiency maintain its yield advantage over a near-isogenic cultivar under elevated CO2? Field Crops Research 133: 160-166.

Teramura, A.H., Sullivan, J.H. and Ziska, L.H. 1990. Interaction of elevated ultraviolet-B radiation and CO2 productivity and photosynthetic characteristics on wheat, rice, and soybean. Plant Physiology 94: 470-475.

Thilakarathne, C.L., Tausz-Posch, S., Cane, K., Norton, R.M., Fitzgerald, G.J., Tausz, M. and Seneweera, S. 2015. Intraspecific variation in leaf growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum) under Australian Grain Free Air CO2 Enrichment (AGFACE): is it regulated through carbon and/or nitrogen supply? Functional Plant Biology 42: 299-308.

Thilakarathne, C.L., Tausz-Posch, S., Cane, K., Norton, R.M., Tausz, M. and Seneweera, S. 2013. Intraspecific variation in growth and yield response to elevated CO2 in wheat depends on the differences of leaf mas per unit area. Functional Plant Biology 40: 185-194.

Tiedemann, A.V. and Firsching, K.H. 2000. Interactive effects of elevated ozone and carbon dioxide on growth and yield of leaf rust-infected versus non-infected wheat. Environmental Pollution 108: 357-363.

Trebicki, P., Vandegeer, R.K., Bosque-Pérez, N.A., Powell, K.S., Dader, B., Freeman, A.J., Yen, A.L., Fitzgerald, G.J. and Luck, J.E. 2016. Virus infection mediates the effects of elevated CO2 on plants and vectors. Scientific Reports 6: 22785, DOI: 10.1038/srep22785.

Uddling, J., Gelang-Alfredsson, J., Karlsson, P.E., Sellden, G. and Pleijel, H. 2008. Source-sink balance of wheat determines responsiveness of grain production to increased [CO2] and water supply. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 127: 215-222.

Ulman, P., Catsky, J. and Pospisilova, J. 2000. Photosynthetic traits in wheat grown under decreased and increased CO2 concentration, and after transfer to natural CO2 concentration. Biologia Plantarum 43: 227-237.

Van Vuuren, M.M.I., Robinson, D., Fitter, A.H., Chasalow, S.D., Williamson, L. and Raven J.A. 1997. Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and soil water availability on root biomass, root length, and N, P and K uptake by wheat. New Phytologist 135: 455-465.

Veisz, O., Bencze, S., Balla, K., Vida, G. and Bedo, Z. 2008. Change in water stress resistance of cereals due to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Cereal Research Communications 36: 10.1556/CRC.36.2008.Suppl.1.

Veisz, O., Bencze, S. and Bedo, Z. 2005. Effect of elevated CO2 on wheat at various nutrient supply levels. Cereal Research Communications 33: 333-336.

Wang, J., Liu, X., Zhang, X., Smith, P., Li, L., Filley, T.R., Cheng, K., Shen, M., He, Y. and Pan, G. 2016. Size and variability of crop productivity both impacted by CO2 enrichment and warming – A case study of 4 year field experiment in a Chinese paddy. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 221: 40-49.

Wechsung, G., Wechsung, F., Wall, G.W., Adamsen, F.J., Kimball, B.A., Pinter Jr., P.J., LaMorte, R.L., Garcia, R.L. and Kartschall, T. 1999. The effects of free-air CO2 enrichment and soil water availability on spatial and seasonal patterns of wheat root growth. Global Change Biology 5: 519-529.

Weigel, H.J. and Manderscheid, R. 2005. CO2 enrichment effects on forage and grain nitrogen content of pasture and cereal plants. Journal of Crop Improvement 13: 73-89.

Weigel, H.J., Pacholski, A., Burkart, S., Helal, M., Heinemeyer, O., Kleikamp, B., Mandershceid, R., Fruhauf, C., Hendrey, G.F., Lewin, K. and Nagy, J. 2005. Carbon turnover in a crop rotation under free air CO2 enrichment (FACE). Pedosphere 15: 728-738.

Wu, G., Chen, F.-J. and Ge, F. 2006. Response of multiple generations of cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera Hubner, feeding on spring wheat, to elevated CO2. Journal of Applied Entomology 130: 2-9.

Wu, D.-X., Wang, G.-X., Bai, Y.-F. and Liao, J.-X. 2004. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on growth, water use, yield and grain quality of wheat under two soil water levels. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 104: 493-507.

Xu, M. 2015. The optimal atmospheric CO2 concentration for the growth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum). Journal of Plant Physiology 184: 89-97.

Zhu, C.-W., Zhu, J.-G., Liu, G., Zeng, Q., Xie, Z.-B., Pang, J., Feng, Z.-Z., Tang, H.-Y. and Wang, L. 2008. Elevated CO2 concentration enhances the role of the ear to the flag leaf in determining grain yield of wheat. Photosynthetica 46: 318-320.

Ziska, L.H. 2008. Three-year field evaluation of early and late 20th century spring wheat cultivars to projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Field Crops Research 108: 54-59.

James Bull
December 27, 2018 5:19 am

It’s just as well there are clever people about to tell the farmers what’s going on or they’d be trying to grow the same crops year after year not seeing yeilds drop and income falling. Sarc

James Bull

December 27, 2018 6:41 am

For at least 6,000 years wheat has been grown and is still being grown in southern Iraq-Khuzistan and in Sind. The two hottest non-desert areas in the World with summer temperatures regularily 50+ C.

If there is a place in the World too hot for wheat it hasn’t been found yet.

PS They grow a lot of barley there too, so your beer is climate-proof too.

Steve O
December 27, 2018 7:52 am

It’s too bad that large agribusinesses are too dumb to know what to plant and that they have a non-farming academic telling them how to run their multi-national farming enterprises. Or, maybe optimizing the yield for a narrower range is a better bet than selecting a seed that will have a lower crop yield, but will produce over a wider range of possible weather conditions.

December 27, 2018 2:14 pm

I can believe cultivated wheat, worldwide, lacks the diversity to withstand much climate variation at all. This paper failed to prove that.

As a thought experiment alone, consider that a farmer who wants to be successful copies what a successful farmer does, right down to the selection of not just what to plant but the actual variety of anything planted. So we have more and more farmers depending on fewer and fewer varieties until they all plant just one. Just one little disruption as e.g., the fungus currently decimating banana crops, and an entire season or even several is suddenly shot. But the research as described in this report did not support this conclusion.

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