Climate change is expected to have an impact on global, regional and local food security. It can cause agriculture drought and thus affect food production, reduce access to food, and also affect food quality. The world needs to prepare for a new and different era in food supply, as predictable rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns in different regions, changes in extreme weather events, and declining water availability may all lead to declining agricultural productivity. The increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions can also disrupt food transportation, and therefore food prices are expected to increase further after natural disasters in the future. Rising temperatures can contribute to food spoilage and contamination. The effects of climate change and drought will affect agriculture internationally, and its impact on the food supply chain is likely to be felt worldwide. In addition, factors such as population growth may make food security problems more and more challenging. On the other hand, in developing countries, turning to sustainable practices such as replacing crop or livestock management methods, or optimizing irrigation methods, still faces many challenges.
The effects of climate change & agriculture drought on global food supply are a common concern for the whole world, as food shortages and rising prices will lead to social crises and national security concerns.
Drought due to climate change can reduce both water availability and water quality required for productive farms and livestock pastures, and this can directly or indirectly cause significant negative economic effects on the agricultural sector. Drought in agriculture can also lead to the spread of pests, increased fires, and changes in the rate of carbon, plant nutrients, and water cycle interference; All of this can affect agricultural production, the vital functions of the ecosystem that underlies agricultural systems, and the livelihoods and health of farming communities. In this article, we will take a brief but closer look at the consequences of climate change and agricultural drought.
Agricultural production loss
The first direct economic impact of drought in the agricultural sector is unsuccessful cultivation and production losses. This cost is often passed on to consumers in the form of rising prices. The indirect effects of drought in this sector can include a reduction in the supply of primary foodstuffs to downstream industries, such as food producers, and a reduction in demand for agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers and farm labor. Side effects of agriculture drought and crop losses also include pressure on farmers’ mental health.
Yield estimates using remote sensing, agroclimatic data, and survey data led by Canadian associations show dramatic decreases in yields for canola and spring wheat, relative to the 5-year average in this country.
Reducing access to water for irrigation
Following the agriculture drought, the reduction of water in the soils causes a significant reduction in crop production and livestock productivity. In addition, surface and groundwater resources may be depleted during droughts, making access to water more difficult and increasing the cost of accessing water for irrigation, as well as feeding livestock. By returning to normal rainfall, soil moisture may be replenished in a short time, but restoring surface and groundwater resources will undoubtedly be time-consuming.
Canada, like the rest of the world, has been facing climate change related problems such as low precipitation in the past decade. Latest studies show extremely low total accumulated precipitation relative to normal in central Alberta, as well as in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Now, many areas across the country have lower than normal precipitation and farmers have to adapt to the new situation & pressures brought by drought.
Pests and diseases
Occurrence of drought with rising air temperature may cause and speed up spread pests and diseases that affect crops, fodder and livestock. The spread of Swede midge, an invasive fly, as one of the most important pest species for canola growers in Ontario, and the Black marmorated stink bug, a pest that invades many plant species, including soybean, corn, sugar maple and a wide variety of fruits (apples, peaches, berries, citrus, tomatoes, etc.) are examples of this growing issue.
Most special crops (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs) are more vulnerable to drought than common crops and consume more water per unit of land. Therefore, if the demand for water in crop production exceeds the supply (available water capacity) following the outbreak of agriculture drought, the farmers who cultivate these special crops may suffer more than others.