We congratulate Sofia Redeker, regulate master student, for receiving the Frankfurt Prize for Environment and Sustainability 2023 (more information here) for her thesis on the impact of climate change on irrigation water demand of winter wheat in the Mansfeld-Südharz district.
Rising temperatures and drought and heat events have led to yield reductions of winter wheat in the past. Yield reductions may impair a secure food supply and as it happened in the year 2018, it can threaten farmers’ existence. Irrigation can reduce temperature and drought induced yield reductions. To generate future weather time series the historic daily weather time series of the HYRAS dataset was modified with the minimum and maximum change of temperature and precipitation according to the emission scenarios RCP 8.5 and RCP 2.6. The agroecosystem model HERMEStoGO was used for simulation. The results show, among other things, that higher temperature and rising CO2 concentrations shift the vegetation period of winter wheat into spring. The expected humid winters have a positive effect on plant growth, compensating the drier summers. Thus, yield increases with and without irrigation. However, expected long lasting drought and heat periods did not enter the analysis.