Adapting Agriculture to Climate Risks
Image: Fallow fields in the dry season, Nepal Terai
Extreme weather events are a major cause of crop failures in agricultural systems worldwide. Our research develops and applies statistical and process-based crop simulation models to improve understanding about how crop yields respond to different types and magnitudes of extreme weather events. We use the insights gained from these analyses to design solutions to to design solutions reduce farmers' exposure to weather-related production risks, and mitigate the impacts of future climate change on agricultural production and rural livelihoods. Examples of our ongoing research in this area include: (i) design of new smart phenology-based weather index-based crop insurance schemes to protect farmers in India against yield losses and financial risks caused by heatwaves and droughts, (ii) development of open-source software tools - AquaCrop-OS - for assessing the capacity of alternative irrigation systems and management approaches to buffer crop production against drought and rainfall variability, while minimising impacts on water availability for other users.
Hufkens, K., Melaas, E. K., Mann, M. L., Foster, T., Ceballos, F., Robles, M., & Kramer, B. (2019). Monitoring crop phenology using a smartphone based near-surface remote sensing approach. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 265, 327-337.
Foster, T., N. Brozovic, A. P. Butler, C. M. U. Neale, D. Raes, P. Steduto, E. Fereres, and T. C. Hsiao. (2017) AquaCrop-OS: An open source version of FAO's crop water productivity model. Agricultural Water Management 181, 18-22.