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CR 65:205-220 (2015)  -  DOI:

Integrated modelling of protein crop production responses to climate change and agricultural policy scenarios in Austria

Hermine Mitter1,*, Erwin Schmid1, Franz Sinabell

1University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, Feistmantelstrasse 4, 1180 Vienna, Austria
2WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Arsenal Object 20, 1030 Vienna, Austria
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Climate and policy changes are likely to affect protein crop production and thus trade balances in Europe, which is highly dependent on imports. Exemplified for Austrian cropland, we developed an integrated modelling framework to analyze climate change and policy scenario impacts on protein crop production and environmental outcomes. The integrated modelling framework consists of a statistical climate change model, a crop rotation model, the bio-physical process model EPIC, and the economic bottom-up land use optimization model BiomAT. EPIC is applied to simulate annual dry matter crop yields for different crop management practices including crop rotations, fertilization intensities, and irrigation, as well as for 3 regional climate change scenarios until 2040 at a 1 km grid resolution. BiomAT maximizes total gross margins by optimizing land use choices and crop management practices subject to spatially explicit cropland endowments. The model results indicate that changes in agricultural policy conditions, cropland use, and higher flexibility in crop management practices may reduce protein import dependence under changing climatic conditions. Expanding protein crop production is most attractive in south-eastern Austria with its Central European continental climate where maize is most often replaced in crop rotations. However, the acreage of protein crops is limited by agronomically suitable cropland. An intended side effect is the reduction of nitrogen fertilizer inputs by about 0.1% if total protein crop production increases by 1%.

KEY WORDS: Climate change impact · Adaptation · Soybean · EPIC · Common Agricultural Policy · Land use

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Cite this article as: Mitter H, Schmid E, Sinabell F (2015) Integrated modelling of protein crop production responses to climate change and agricultural policy scenarios in Austria. Clim Res 65:205-220.

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