Grain production potential (GrPP) is the maximum production in 1 year that can be achieved by land use under the limitations of climate conditions and in the absence of pests and diseases and other factors. Regional GrPP can change over time and there is an urgent need to identify the main factors affecting regional differences in such changes. Therefore, changes in GrPP were studied for six geographical units in Shaanxi Province, with summer maize and winter wheat as the main grain crops. Changes of GrPP during 2000–2015 were simulated by the global aro-ecological zone model. Analysis of modelled GrPP driven by observed changes in climate and land use suggest that over this period GrPP increased to the north but declined to the south of the Qinling Mountains. This is driven mainly by past changes in climate, with modelled GrPP more sensitive to changes in precipitation than temperature in all geographical units except one. Climate change was the main factor affecting GrPP in all geographical units except one; however, model prediction suggests that land use changes had a clear yield-reducing effect in three of the units. It is the conversion from cultivated land to construction land, grassland and woodland that led to the greatest declines in GrPP in these three geographical units. In order to ensure the stable development of regional agriculture and food security, Shaanxi Province should focus on tapping GrPP north of the Qinling Mountains and increasing the conversion rate of GrPP to actual production.