Improving Crop Model Use in Risk Assessment

By: Jenna Behrendt

PHOTO 1 | How crop-climate modelling studies should calculate both impacts and adaptation.

Improving the use of crop models for risk assessment and climate change adaptation, published in the Agricultural Systems Special Issue Volume 155, shares best practices and expert established criteria for crop model use in assessing climate impacts, adaptation and risk. These criteria were created by lead author Andrew J. Challinor and his research team, and shared with other authors in the special issue for feedback.

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AgMIP IMPACTS EXPLORER Launches on two Continents

AN INTERACTIVE, WEB-BASED TOOL FOR VISUALIZING RESILIENT AGRICULTURE

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The Beta version of a new visualization tool for the assessment of current and future agricultural systems is being launched in two continents on December 12, 2017. The online tool will debut at the AgMIP Town Hall to be held at 6pm at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in New Orleans, and also at the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) Annual Forum in Rome.

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AgMIP Participation at AGU 2017

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The American Geophysical Union (AGU) will bring together members of the global Earth and space science community for a week at its Fall 2017 Meeting on Dec. 11-15, 2017, in New Orleans, LA. Research from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is being featured in several sessions.

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AgMIP Research helps Building Resilience to Climate Change

AgMIP Regional Integrated Assessment Case Study featured in new FAO Climate Smart Agriculture Book

By: Jenna Behrendt

PHOTO 1 | Climate Smart Agriculture – Building Resilience to Climate Change Publication

The anticipated effects of climate change require a multi-dimensional approach to evaluate agricultural system performance under uncertain conditions in future. Agricultural models have historically focused on agronomic and economic impacts without adequately considering environmental and social variables and their tradeoffs in modeling methodology. Sustainable agricultural planning in a changing climate requires incorporating social and environmental factors, as well as integrating adaptation, mitigation and resilience measures.

Climate Smart Agriculture – Building Resilience to Climate Change was published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in response to evolving interest in agricultural planning, combining research and leading professionals’ expertise to inform Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). CSA focuses on transforming agricultural systems to ensure food security in a changing climate and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by evaluating performance under existing and possible future conditions. Standard approaches for agricultural system performance evaluation, including conventional field experiments, are not effective for CSA evaluation given high levels of climate and socio-economic uncertainty. AgMIP developed an alternative methodology, known as of the Regional Integrated Assessment (RIA), to analyze agricultural systems and achieve CSA multi-dimensionality.

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Next Steps for AgMIP in North America

Contributed by Carolyn Mutter, Jerry Hatfield, Senthold Asseng, Bruno Basso, Jean Steiner, Sanford Eigenbrode, Cheryl Porter and the AgMIP Open Session Participants.

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The Open Session of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) at the Fall 2017 meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America brought together about 50 US and international agricultural systems researchers to discuss priorities and future directions for AgMIP in North America. Moderated by Dr. Jerry Hatfield of USDA ARS, the session included perspectives of five panelists on how to better synthesize North America agricultural systems interactions and outputs at present and in the future, before opening the floor to discussion. Panelists included Drs. Senthold Asseng (U Florida), Bruno Basso (Michigan State U), Jean Steiner (USDA-ARS), Sanford Eigenbrode (U Idaho), and Cheryl Porter (U Florida). The session was organized by the AgMIP Coordination Unit at Columbia University.

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Innovative Crop-Livestock Integration Techniques

AgMIP South Eastern Africa Team member Dr. Sabine Homann-Kee Tui presents research from complementary study in ICRISAT article

By Jenna Behrendt

PHOTO 1 |The study found Macuna, a legume, to be very successful in assisting farmers in coping with climate change. Sourced from Patricia Masikati/ICRISAT.
On November 9th, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) published an article documenting a successful approach to reducing smallholder farmer vulnerability in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, frequent droughts, lack of market access and limited incomes present significant challenges for smallholder farmers. Starting in 2012, AgMIP South Eastern Africa Team Principal Investigator, Dr. Sabine Homann-Kee Tui, joined the Integrating Crops and Livestock for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Rural Zimbabwe (ZimCLIFS)’s pilot program in the Nkayi and Gwanda districts of Zimbabwe to introduce legume fodder crops to diversify smallholder farmers’ income. Project team members included: ICRISAT, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and Australia’s Commonwealth (CIMMYT), and the Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

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West Africa agriculture may benefit from climate change

Research findings from AgMIP West Africa Regional Research Team challenge common narrative for future of Agricultural Production in Africa

hathie_web Hathie will present AgMIP West Africa Regional Research Team findings this week.
While many studies suggest that climate change will negatively effect African agriculture, new findings challenge this general assumption. Impact assessment research from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Program (AgMIP) suggests climate change impacts on African agriculture can, in some places and regions, have a net positive effect on farmers’ livelihoods.

Ibrahima Hathie, AgMIP West Africa Regional Research Team (RRT) co-Principal Investigator and economist, will discuss recent findings and this optimistic future at the International Technical Conference on Climate Change, Agricultural Trade and Food Security. Hosted at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, Italy from 15-17 November, the conference will convene international organizations, academics, practitioners, and consultants to explore the linkages between climate change, agricultural trade, and food security.

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John Porter named WHEAT Independent Steering Committee Chair

AgMIP Steering Council member named Chairperson of the Independent Steering Committee for Global Wheat Research

John R. Porter, member of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Program’s (AgMIP) Steering Council, has been named chairperson of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT) Independent Steering Committee. As chairperson, Porter will lead the Steering Committee in advising WHEAT’s research strategy, priorities and project management.

Porter has been a member of AgMIP’s Steering Council since 2015 and a member of WHEAT’s Steering Committee since 2014. His research contributions are significant in crop ecology, physiology, biological modelling, and agricultural ecology, with focus on climate change, agronomy, and ecosystem services. An internationally recognized scientist, he has served as president of the European Society for Agronomy, was Chief Editor of the European Journal of Agronomy, and was Coordinating Lead Author for the 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Chapter on Food Security and Food Production Systems.

The full release is available to read on the WHEAT website here.

Improving Model Representation of CO2 Effects
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AgMIP Crop modelers and FACE scientists improve CO2 effect representation after collaborative workshop

By Delphine Deryng and Greg Reppucci

An international group of AgMIP crop modelers and Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) scientists recently convened to examine the methodologies for improving model representation of CO2 effects on crop photosynthesis and water use.

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AgMIP and the SDGs: Simulating Multiple Demands on Agriculture

Results from Impacts World, October 11-13, 2017

By Jenna Behrendt and Greg Reppucci

Panel members Mohammed Ly, Alex Ruane, Christoph Müller, and Joshua Elliot converse during the Session
Quantifying the true costs of climate impacts, particularly on human health, migration, and sustainable development, is a challenging but necessary step in understanding how best to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The international Impacts World 2017 conference, held in Potsdam, Germany 11-13 October, brought together leading scientists and stakeholders to discuss recent findings. Results were presented in the context of four themes – Economic costs, Human health, Human migration, and Sustainable Development Goals.

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