Farmers Feel the Climate Change

Philipp von Gehren, Svenja Bomers, Tanja Tripolt, Josef Söllinger, Noémie Prat, Berta Redondo, Romans Vorss, Markus Teige, Anita Kamptner, Alexandra Ribarits

Effects associated with a changing climate could severely threaten potato production in Europe. Hence, farmers need to take up adaptation measures to safeguard agricultural production. Collecting data from 553 farmers from 22 different European countries, our survey evaluates European potato farmers’ perceptions regarding the influence of climate change on local potato production, and their willingness to implement adaptation strategies. An overwhelming majority of survey respondents had already experienced the effects of climatic changes on their potato production. Specifically, drought and heat were identified as the most significant threats. The planting of an adapted variety was the preferred adaptation strategy, while farmers were also willing to take up changes in agricultural management practices. Survey respondents predominantly considered yield stability as the most important characteristic of an adapted variety, closely followed by heat tolerance, disease resistance, drought tolerance, and yield potential. When choosing a variety, the personal experience of the survey respondents as well as the experience of their peers were identified as the most important sources of information. Our survey gives valuable insights into the challenges European potato farmers are facing in times of climate change. Supplying farmers with better-adapted varieties would be a well-targeted and well-accepted measure to advance climate change adaptation.

Functional and Evolutionary Ecology
External organisation(s)
AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit, Chamber for Agriculture of Lower Austria
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106022 Microbiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Atmospheric Science
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action
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