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Climate change

Drought damage to sugar beets in the Kraichgau region
Drought damage to sugar beets in the Kraichgau region

The consequences of climate change will directly affect agriculture: average temperatures in Baden-Württemberg will rise, heat days above 30°C will increase significantly and precipitation during the vegetation period will decrease. According to regional climate models, the southwest of Germany will be particularly affected by these changes, which have an impact on yields and qualities of agricultural products as well as on farming possibilities.

Climate change is already underway and will continue. Baden-Württemberg's agriculture must adapt in time – in choice of crop types and varieties, crop rotation, fertilization, soil cultivation and plant protection. Irrigation will play a greater role. New pests and diseases require intensive monitoring, timely forecasting and new ways of controlling them. Even though arable farmers are quite flexible in adaptation, means and solutions for coping with the challenges have to be in place when most significant changes for agricultural production conditions will prevail from mid-century onwards.

Agriculture is not only affected by climate change, but also contributes to it by releasing nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Like any other sector, agriculture is required to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In arable production, main opportunities for mitigation of GHG lie in increasing energy efficiency and using nitrogen as efficiently as possible. Beyond that, agriculture can contribute to conservation of fossil resources by cultivating renewable energy sources (e. g. sorghum for biogas production) or use of residual materials of plant and animal origin as fertilizers.

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