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Impacts of climate changes on German Agriculture and adaptation strategies

Lead Institute LV Institute of Rural Studies
Involved Institutes BD Institute of Biodiversity

© aid infodienst, Bonn

Quantification of regional climate changes on German agriculture and assessment of adaptation strategies with the Regionalised Agricultural and Environmental Information System RAUMIS

Climate changes have different regional impacts on agriculture in Germany. The LandCaRE-Project examines these impacts and possible adaptation strategies under different global framework conditions.

Background and Objective

The expected climate change affects the regional and local mid- to long-term natural conditions of production differently. In addition, the impacts of world agricultural markets on the German agricultural sector increase. The objectives of the research project are
• to analyse how regional production conditions of German agriculture may change due to climate change until 2020/25,
• to assess what adaptation measures are appropriate, as well as
• to provide a comprehensive decision support system for farms, business enterprises, and the government.

Target Group

Farms, up and down stream industries, service sector, policy


After establishing a comprehensive GIS-data base on natural site parameters (e.g., soil, climate, etc.) we use regression analysis to empirically estimate the impact of annual weather changes on agricultural crop yields in the period 1996 to 2006. We apply the derived yield model for the climate scenario A1B (medium realisation with the climate model STAR) to simulate climate change impacts on crop yields until 2060. We examine the consequences of yield changes on agriculture using the regionalised agricultural economic model RAUMIS. In addition, we conduct a regionally differentiated analysis in regard to irrigation as a potential adaptation measure. Therefore, we assess the need for irrigation as well as its profitability under climate change and alternative agricultural price levels.

Data and Methods

Crop yields of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) from 1996 to 2006 are the basis for the estimation of annual yield fluctuations due to weather changes. The yield data is combined with natural conditions such as soil index, effective field moisture capacity and altitude above sea level as well as observed weather data. This is the data base for the calculation of the irrigation needs and the profitability of irrigation. For scenario analyses the RAUMIS model {LINK: RAUMIS im Modellverbund} is used.


On the basis of the estimated regional yield models we are able to reproduce quite well the impacts of the drought in 2003 with regard to its absolute impact as well as its regional distribution. Applying the empirical yield models for the used climate scenario, we project an average winter wheat yield decrease of 3 % in the period from 2021/40 to 2041/2060 and an increase of yield fluctuations due to climate change. According to the calculations the need for irrigation rises, too, while the profitability of irrigation strongly hinges upon the future agricultural price level. Results of RAUMIS-simulations suggest that agriculture will cope with the changes of framework conditions induced by climate change. The results of the sub-project are prepared for the Decision Support System developed within the collaborative research project and can be interactively analysed and visualised by users. They provide information to support decisions in regard to adaptations to climate change. In addition, the developed data bases and methods are used to analyse further climate scenarios and to further develop the RAUMIS model.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Technische Universität Dresden
    (Dresden, Tharandt, Deutschland)
  • GKSS-Forschungszentrum, Institut für Küstenforschung
    (Geesthacht, Deutschland)
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
    (Bonn, Deutschland)
  • Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
    (Müncheberg, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


11.2006 - 3.2010

More Information

Project status: finished

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Köstner B, Wenkel K-O, Berg M, Bernhofer C, Gömann H, Weigel H-J (2014) Integrating regional climatology, ecology, and agronomy for impact analysis and climate change adaptation of German agriculture: An introduction to the LandCaRe2020 project. Eur J Agron 52:1-10, DOI:10.1016/j.eja.2013.08.003

  2. 1

    Anter J, Gömann H, Kreins P, Richmann A (2009) Einfluss sich wandelnder ökonomischer Rahmenbedingungen auf die Beregnung landwirtschaftlicher Kulturen in Deutschland. Landbauforsch SH 328:21-28

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