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Assessing the impact of climate change on crop management in winter wheat – a case study for Eastern Austria

  • E. EBRAHIMI (a1), A. M. MANSCHADI (a1), R. W. NEUGSCHWANDTNER (a1), J EITZINGER (a2), S. THALER (a2) and H.-P. KAUL (a1)...


Climate change is expected to affect optimum agricultural management practices for autumn-sown wheat, especially those related to sowing date and nitrogen (N) fertilization. To assess the direction and quantity of these changes for an important production region in eastern Austria, the agricultural production systems simulator was parameterized, evaluated and subsequently used to predict yield production and grain protein content under current and future conditions. Besides a baseline climate (BL, 1981–2010), climate change scenarios for the period 2035–65 were derived from three Global Circulation Models (GCMs), namely CGMR, IPCM4 and MPEH5, with two emission scenarios, A1B and B1. Crop management scenarios included a combination of three sowing dates (20 September, 20 October, 20 November) with four N fertilizer application rates (60, 120, 160, 200 kg/ha). Each management scenario was run for 100 years of stochastically generated daily weather data. The model satisfactorily simulated productivity as well as water and N use of autumn- and spring-sown wheat crops grown under different N supply levels in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 experimental seasons. Simulated wheat yields under climate change scenarios varied substantially among the three GCMs. While wheat yields for the CGMR model increased slightly above the BL scenario, under IPCM4 projections they were reduced by 29 and 32% with low or high emissions, respectively. Wheat protein appears to increase with highest increments in the climate scenarios causing the largest reductions in grain yield (IPCM4 and MPEH-A1B). Under future climatic conditions, maximum wheat yields were predicted for early sowing (September 20) with 160 kg N/ha applied at earlier dates than the current practice.


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