With climate change, the seasonal weather patterns are changing. For German latitudes, the changed climate results in higher temperatures already in spring. While the summer months will be drier and hotter, future winters will be warmer and have more precipitation. The climatic changes are subject to regional differences and do not allow any general conclusions to be drawn about future yield trends. Depending on the region, location and type of crop, climatic changes not only bring risks but also crop opportunities. (…)

Split in Mix

The risks of climate change can be limited by various crop management measures. All of them aim to increase the diversity of cultivation adapted to the location. Spatial coexistence of different crop types compensates for yield losses, because identical weather conditions have different effects on specific crops. The mix of crop varieties in cultivation is therefore a first step towards compensating for yield fluctuations. Regionally established and economically strong plant species such as winter wheat, winter barley, maize and winter rapeseed often provide income. Particularly high revenues from the one-sided cultivation of certain cash crops are not possible with a crop mix.

Varietal diversity in the field helps to further spread the risks of possible weather extremes. Properties such as yield stability in wet or dry years and resistance to plant diseases will in future supplement more common criteria for selecting varieties. Drought-resistant, heat-loving crops such as soybeans or sorghum millet are recommended for trial cultivation on small areas.