How do soil and water conservation practices influence climate change impacts on potato production? Evidence from eastern Canada.

Ochuodho, T.O., Olale, E., Lantz, V., Damboise, J., Daigle, J.-L., Meng, F., Li, S., and Chow, T.L. (2014). "How do soil and water conservation practices influence climate change impacts on potato production? Evidence from eastern Canada.", Regional Environmental Change, 14(4), pp. 1563-1574. doi : 10.1007/s10113-014-0599-7  Access to full text

Abstract

We used a stochastic production function method together with a farm-level dataset covering 18 farms over a 23-year period to assess the role that soil and water conservation practices play in affecting the climate change impacts on potato yield in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Our analysis accounted for the yield effects of farm inputs, farm technologies, farm-specific factors, seasonal climatic variables, soil and water conservation practices, and a series of interaction terms between soil and water conservation practices and climatic variables. Regression results were used in combination with three climate change scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (A2, A1B, B1) and four general circulation model predictions over three 30-year time periods (2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2100) to estimate a range of potato yield projections over these time periods. Results show that accounting for soil and water conservation practices in climate–yield relationships increased the impacts of climate change on potato yield, with yield increases of up to 38 % by the 2071–2100 period. These findings provide evidence that adoption of soil and water conservation practices can help boost potato production in a changing Canadian climate.

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