Wheat likely to be most impacted grain from climate change

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Climate change is predicted to impact several agricultural crops all over the world in coming years, scientists say. But wheat is likely to be the crop most affected by warmer winters and less precipitation, according to researchers that gathered at the 2012 Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) Technical Workshop in China Sept. 1-4.

Wheat production in India and Mexico is projected to be negatively impacted, said Thomas Lumpkin, director general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). However, regions of China may see a positive impact with warmer winters.

“Both high temperatures and reduced rainfall will be more common, and wheat will be the most severely affected major crop,” Lumpkin said to SciDev.Net at the BGRI Technical Workshop.

Concern continues to increase that grain shortages, especially of wheat, could put pressure on regional governments. It is believed that the wheat shortages of 2008 helped lead to the “Arab Spring” events in Libya, Egypt and Syria.

Researchers at the workshop concluded that more research investment is needed for agriculture around the world.


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