Fruit and Vegetable Session for AgMIP7

Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Fruit and Vegetable Crops

By Dave Gustafson and Senthold Asseng

Underway research on fruit and vegetable supply chains includes exploring strategies and land use change resulting from the potential relocation (arrows) of certain crops from California to production regions in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and Southeast (SE).

Motivated by integrated, collaborative approaches for ensuring a nutritious, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-sound food supply, the AgMIP7 Global Workshop will include a session examining methods for modeling climate change impacts on fruits and vegetable crops. Interested session participants are requested to submit abstracts by February 28, 2018.

The session builds on underway work of a project entitled Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains co-led by Dr. Dave Gustafson (representing the ILSI Foundation) and Dr. Senthold Asseng (University of Florida), with funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The project team also includes scientists, extension specialists, practitioners and students from the International Food Policy Research Institute, University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, Washington State University, and World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services.

“Using models and working with a multi-disciplinary team will significantly improve our understanding and assessment of climate change impacts on fruits and vegetables,” says Gustafson. “It will be important to track nutritional and environmental outcomes as these supply chains undergo rapid innovation.”

Fruits and vegetables are well recognized as important components of a healthy, balanced diet. However, meeting increased demand for these nutritious foods will be challenging for domestic production regions in the United States. California is the leading domestic source of many fruit and vegetable crops, but climate change coupled with increased competition for land, water and other natural resources will likely limit greater production in that state.

Research underway includes crop modeling, economic modeling, and environmental modeling to determine current and future climate and water availability impacts on yield, quality, price, and environmental profile of selected fruit and vegetable crops, specifically: carrots, green beans, oranges, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet corn, and tomatoes. One focus of the modeling will be on strategies and land use change resulting from relocation of crops from California to new regions in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast (e.g., see Figure).

The AgMIP7 session, to be led by Asseng, is also motivated by recent actions to advance AgMIP work in North America. “The AgMIP methodology has proven very valuable in promoting collaboration amongst researchers to compare and advance crop models to better project impacts on current and future yields,” acknowledges Asseng. “We are very excited to utilize this methodology in addressing the challenges for the fruit and vegetable supply chain in North America.”

The title of the planned session is “Methods for modeling and assessing the impact of climate change on fruit and vegetable crops.” For more information on the session, please contact Senthold Asseng or