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Climatic Change

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 275–287 | Cite as

Potential impacts of climate change on storage conditions for commercial agriculture: an example for potato production in Michigan

  • Julie A. WinklerEmail author
  • Logan Soldo
  • Ying Tang
  • Todd Forbush
  • David S. Douches
  • Chris M. Long
  • Courtney P. Leisner
  • C. Robin Buell
Article

Abstract

Climate change is anticipated to influence all parts of agricultural production systems. However, the potential impacts on crop storage have rarely been assessed, even though storage is an important component of a grower’s marketing strategy and is essential for the continuous supply of a commodity for processors, exporters, and consumers. The Michigan chip-processing potato industry provides an example of the importance of crop storage. Michigan is the largest producer of chip-processing potatoes in the USA, and potatoes are stored on farms from September to June. We use an ensemble of climate projections developed for three future time slices (early, mid, and late century) from 16 climate models forced by three greenhouse gas concentration pathways to assess future changes in potato storage conditions. Our findings indicate an increased future demand for ventilation and/or refrigeration immediately after harvest and again in spring and early summer, even for the early-century time slice. Furthermore, the period of reliably cold storage temperatures during winter is anticipated, when averaged across all models, to shorten by 11–17 days in Michigan’s primary production area and 14–20 days in the more southern secondary area by mid-century, and by 15–29 days and 31–35 days, respectively, for the northern and southern production areas by late century. The level of uncertainty, as indicated by the ensemble range, is large, although the sign of the projected changes in storage parameters is consistent. This case study provides an example of the potentially large effects of climate change on the storage conditions for agricultural commodities.

Notes

Funding information

This project was supported by Michigan State University GREEEN Proposal #GR15-008. Development of the climate projections used in the study was in part supported by National Science Foundation Award CNH 0909378. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views and policies of the funding agencies.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2301_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2086 kb)
10584_2018_2301_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (5.8 mb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 5978 kb)
10584_2018_2301_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (6 mb)
ESM 3 (XLSX 6098 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Techmark, Inc.LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  4. 4.MSU AgBioResearchMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  5. 5.Department of Plant BiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  6. 6.Plant Resilience InstituteMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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