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Craigmore Commentary Regional impacts of Climate Change on agriculture

The Farmer

What are the regional effects of climate change on farmland / crop yields? 

As can be seen from the green (benefiting from climate change) and red (suffering from climate change) areas on this map, organisations like the World Bank are forecasting different regional impacts of climate change on farmland.

These changes may be large. One study (Climate Change Induced Transformations, D Leclère , 2014) predicts palm oil yields will fall by -24% and barley yields will increase by 17%. 

Warm country agriculture is likely to be a net loser; cool regions may benefit

Research suggests farming regions closer to the Equator will see potential crop yields fall in the face of temperature rises. Meanwhile farming regions closer to the North and South Poles should see potential yields rise via temperature and CO2 fertilisation benefits. 

Is climate change already impacting yields?

As can be seen in the next graph, cooler areas such as New Zealand and Canada have seen yields grow in recent years. Meanwhile wheat yields in more tropical regions have not performed as well.  

The Farmer

About Forbes Elworthy

Forbes Elworthy

Forbes was brought up on Craigmore Station in the South Island of New Zealand and worked as a shepherd in the early part of his career. He then trained in Agricultural Economics at Lincoln University in New Zealand where he was student president in 1984. He went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1985. After some time at Goldman Sachs he completed an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1992. Forbes worked as a credit trader at Merrill Lynch from 1992 to 1999 where he headed a convertibles trading desk. He then led financial information publisher Credit Market Analysis which was acquired by Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Forbes returned full time to farming in 2005 to live on and manage Craigmore Station – a sheep, beef and deer property farmed by the Elworthy family since 1864.   From 2009 Forbes partnered with his brother-in-law Mark Cox to create Craigmore Sustainables, a specialist manager of farms and forests in New Zealand. Since 2014 he has been leading a Craigmore sponsored farm information management company called Map Of Agriculture. It provides software and farm data integration systems to help over 80 AgBusinesses including Centre for Dairy Excellence in New Zealand and McDonalds Restaurants in the UK connect to and assist their networks of farms. 

Articles by Forbes Elworthy

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