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Crop Biotech Update

Study Shows Climate Change to Cause 23% Decline in Crop Production by 2050s

May 31, 2017

Climate change, which causes extreme weather and temperature, is projected to cause a 23 percent decline in the global output of major crops including corn, wheat, rice, and soybean in the 2050s, according to a study.

Mekbib Haile, a researcher at the Center of Development Research at the University of Bonn, Germany, and colleagues analyzed the price and production of the major crops from 1961 to 2013. A significant decrease of 9% in the global output of the major crops is expected to be evident by 2030s. The negative impacts of climate change were projected to be manifested in several countries by 2030s but will be more pronounced in all countries by 2050s. According to Haile, the increase in average temperatures during the growing season does not have much effect on the staple crops until they hit a particular "tipping point", which is around 89 °F (32 °C). Aside from temperature, extreme weather conditions such as drought and too much rainfall could decrease the production of the crops.

To address these concerns, Haile recommended improvements in farming such as the use of biotech crops, better irrigation, and less tilling.

Read more from The Daily Climate.