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  • Researchers evaluate the impact of the climate change on crop yields

    July 14, 2015

    The rise in temperatures affects crop growth and productivity and experts work on new models to optimize production

    Asturias is considered an ideal place to grow corn.

    The climate change and temperature rise have changed timing and altered the traditional patterns concerning the growth of agricultural crops. The University of Oviedo takes part in a research project, funded by the Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness, aimed at determining how the climate change affects corn growth, one of the most important crops worldwide. Professor José Alberto Oliveira, researcher of the Department of Organisms and Systems Biology, works with scientists from other Spanish centers to adapt the traditional corn production models to the new climatic situation and to optimize productivity.

    The group of experts, led by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, is developing different tests in pieces of land in Asturias, Madrid and Córdoba to collect parameters such as climate, characteristics of soil, agronomic data or flowering or sowing dates, etc. All this information will allow experts to elaborate models which define which varieties are more appropriate for each place and when.

    The study, in which the University of Oviedo takes part, develops new tests in Asturias, Madrid and Córdoba to collect greenhouse and field information

    Asturias is considered an ideal place to grow corn. The preliminary results of the tests in a piece of land located in Carreño show that early sowing, middle of May, implies more production, as plants bloom when heat waves are not as usual. "We have proved that if sowing is delayed, the summer high temperatures may coincide with flowering (end of July-beginning of August) and that has a negative effect on production", Professor Oliveira explains.

    The models simulating corn growth that are used nowadays do not take into account the high temperatures in pollination. With all the climatic parameters and information collected in the three localities, researchers will develop new temperature algorithms in the models simulating corn yield, which will improve the expected corn production in Spain.

    Project name: ACER-Agro: "Evaluación integrada de riesgos climáticos y económicos: adaptación de sistemas agrícolas en España"

    Funding: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

    Deadline: 01/01/2013 al 31/12/2015

    Research group:

    María Inés Mínguez Tudela (Investigador principal). Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

    Jon Iñaqui Lizaso Oñate. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

    Federico Sau Sau. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

    Clara Gabaldón Leal. Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA) Centro Alameda del Obispo, Córdoba. Junta de Andalucía.

    José Alberto Oliveira Prendes. Escuela Politécnica de Mieres. Universidad de Oviedo.


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