Climate change: a crop protection challenge for the twenty-first century



Convincing data now show that temperatures are increasing, and that changing precipitation patterns are already affecting agriculture. Predicted future impacts vary by region, but all are projected to suffer productivity declines by the late twenty-first century unless successful mitigation measures are implemented soon. Exacerbating the climate change challenge, doubling of overall crop productivity will be required by mid-century. Clearly, crop protection will become increasingly difficult as higher-yielding varieties present a larger and more tempting target to all pests, and the pests themselves extend their ranges poleward and into other new geographies owing to reduced winter kill and longer growing seasons. Fortunately, good progress on enhancing crop protection technology to meet these challenges is already being made, but the scope of this climatic provocation is such that complacency is not an option. Increased investment into new technologies and adoption of new agricultural practices with improved adaptive and mitigation potential are both essential. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry