Integrated Assessment of Economic Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change Impacts on Midwestern AgricultureEPA Grant Number: R824996
Title: Integrated Assessment of Economic Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change Impacts on Midwestern Agriculture
Investigators: Randolph, J. C. , Doering, Otto C. , Johnston, Jerry , Littlefield, Bill , Lowenberg-DeBoer, Jess , Mazzocco, Michael A. , Pfeifer, Rebecca
Current Investigators: Randolph, J. C. , Doering, Otto C. , Mazzocco, Michael A.
Institution: Indiana University - Bloomington , Purdue University , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999 (Extended to September 22, 2001)
Project Amount: $1,393,897
RFA: Global Climate (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Climate Change
Using a multidisciplinary team and hierarchical systems aggregation, this project will use an integrated assessment approach to evaluate the impacts of climate change on midwestern crop agriculture in four distinct ways. First, the impacts of several changed climate regimes on midwestern agroecosystems will be evaluated using GIS-based crop production simulation modeling. Second, the consequences of these altered agroecosystems and the potential for adaptive technologies and strategies for farm management decisions will be evaluated using an economic decision model, the Purdue University Crop/Livestock Linear Program (PC-LP), to assess impacts on individual farms. Third, the interactions of the aggregated agroecosystem and farm-decision effects on institutional policies, and conversely, will be evaluated to assess midwestern regional impacts including the adaptability of alternative policies. Fourth, the adaptability of this integrated climate assessment methodology for analysis of agricultural sector adaptive response to changed climate in other regions in the U.S.
Previously, the Oregon State University (OSU) general circulation model (GCM) was used to project possible future climates in the midwestern Great Lake state (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) at daily, monthly, and annual intervals through 2060. Current geographic distribution of crops and spatial patterns of agricultural cropping systems in these states has been studied and an assessment of the effects of climate change on production levels of important crops (corn and soybeans) at high spatial resolution has been completed. Crop simulation modeling in this study will use the CENTURY model, with calibrations using the CERES Maize and SOYGRO models. Four climate change scenarios will be developed to generate input for both the CENTURY and PC-LP linear programming model. Representative commercial production units ("firm farms") will be developed in eleven distinct regions representing the variety of midwestern agriculture. Institutional constraints on production practices and their resulting effects on the variety of agroecosystems and farm profitability also will be incorporated. Preliminary results indicate that soil nutrients are of critical importance in determining crop yields under a changed climate. In earlier simulations, regions having superior physical and chemical soil characteristics (the eastern Corn Belt) are less impacted by climate change than are regions having soil characteristics less suitable for agriculture (northern Michigan and Wisconsin).
This integrated assessment will rely heavily upon diverse expertise and knowledge through the use of expert panels. This approach complements the modeling of agroecosystem response to climate change at Indiana University; analytical capacity for firm-level decision-making at Purdue University; knowledge of agricultural systems at Purdue University and at the University of Illinois; and the knowledge of agribusiness support systems at the University of Illinois. All three universities have a tradition of integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to the analysis of environmental management, natural resources, and agriculture.