Can Multiple Cropping Help to Avoid the Impacts of Heat Extremes? The Case of Winter Wheat/Soybean Double Cropping in the United States

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Christopher Seifert, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States and David B Lobell, Stanford University, Los Altos Hills, CA, United States
In adapting U.S. agriculture to the climate of the 21st century, multiple cropping presents a unique opportunity to help offset projected negative trends in agricultural production while moving critical crop yield formation periods outside of the hottest months of the year. Critical constraints on this practice include moisture availability, and, more importantly, growing season length. We review evidence that this last constraint has decreased in the previous quarter century, allowing for more winter wheat/soybean double cropping in previously phenologically constrained areas. We also carry this pattern forward to 2100, showing a 126% to 211% increase in the area phenologically suitable for double cropping under the RCP45 and RCP85 scenarios respectively. These results suggest that climate change will relieve phenological constraints on wheat-soy double cropping systems over much of the United States, changing production patterns and crop rotations as areas become suitable for the practice.