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Influence of climatic factors on the low yields of spring barley and winter wheat in Southern Moravia (Czech Republic) during the 1961–2007 period

Abstract

The paper aims to study the variability of spring barley and winter wheat yields, the most important crops in the Czech Republic, with respect to the variability of weather and climatic factors. Yields of both crops have been studied for 13 districts in Southern Moravia for the 1961–2007 period. From detrended series of spring barley and winter wheat yields, years with very low (lower than the mean minus a 2.5-multiple of the standard deviation) and extremely low (interval given by the mean minus a 1.5- and 2.5-multiple of the standard deviation) yields were selected. Years in which at least one of the districts had extremely low/very low yields were further analyzed. From 10 such years selected separately for spring barley and winter wheat, six of them agreed for both crops. Extreme years were studied using NUTS4-level yield data with respect to temperature, precipitation, the self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (scPDSI), snow cover, frost patterns, and the onset and duration of select phenophases. Extremely/very low barley yields in 1993, 2000, and 2007 were related to high April–June (AMJ) temperatures, low AMJ precipitation totals, and negative AMJ scPDSI (indicating drought) with an earlier onset of flowering and full ripeness and shorter intervals from tillering to flowering and from flowering to full ripeness compared to the entire 1961–2007 mean. As for extremely/very low winter wheat yields, in addition to the previously mentioned factors, winter patterns also played an important role, particularly the occurrence of severe frosts with a coinciding lack of snow cover and a long-lasting snow cover (in highlands), indicating that low yields are the result of not only one unfavorable factor but a combination of several of them.

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Acknowledgments

P. Kolář was supported by the project MUNI/A/0902/2012 “Global environmental changes and their impacts”, M. Trnka by the project “Establishment of International Scientific Team Focused on Drought Research” (no. OP VK CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0248), R. Brázdil by the project of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (no. 13-19831S), and P. Hlavinka by a project funded by the National Agency for Agricultural Research (no. QJ1310123).

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Kolář, P., Trnka, M., Brázdil, R. et al. Influence of climatic factors on the low yields of spring barley and winter wheat in Southern Moravia (Czech Republic) during the 1961–2007 period. Theor Appl Climatol 117, 707–721 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-013-1037-3

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Keywords

  • Snow Cover
  • Winter Wheat
  • Arable Land
  • Climatic Factor
  • Drought Index