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Is Unpredictability Here To Stay? How To Combat the Negative Effects of Climate Change on Your Crops

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  • Post published:July 29, 2022
  • Reading time:5 mins read

As the effects of climate change become increasingly concerning, many farmers will be put under pressure to mitigate events out of their control. How do you mitigate the negative effects of climate change on your crops? What will it be like to grow, deliver and consume food in the years to come? Fruit production — like all agricultural practices — must adapt to climate change. Supply chains are already experiencing negative impacts from warming climates, with early and erratic crop flowering, reduced quality of fruit, the emergence of new diseases, and water supply issues all presenting new challenges. 

This isn’t the first time the climate has changed. The planet has changed drastically every few thousand years across its history. Normally, plants and animals would be able to adapt and evolve to deal with changes. But today things are changing faster than ever, and extreme weather events are expected to intensify in the coming years. We’re seeing increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and a growing number of natural disasters. With increased weather volatility comes greater risks of catastrophic events and loss of both human and financial capital.

Future climate changes will be drastic; we are in for a warmer and more acidic ocean, higher sea levels, and larger changes in precipitation patterns. Preventing future climate change depends on our actions to reduce greenhouse gases. The world has already reached a temperature that is hotter, on average, than the planet’s historical maximums.

For example, there is an increase in the frequency and intensity (depth) of droughts, and a rise in temperature. The UK recently experienced the first ever ‘Red Extreme Heat’ warning, with temperatures reaching above 40°C, the hottest recorded temperature since records began, according to the Met Office. These factors can have a detrimental impact on crop quality. This is due to the heat intensification effect in which crops are exposed to higher than usual warmth, which may cause damage, reducing crop yields and quality. This was seen in June 2021 in the state of Washington, where they experienced historically high temperatures for a three-day period. During this time, the heat prevented fruit from maturing and affected harvesting; this event caused great financial losses in the fruit industry.

Farmers have never been more vulnerable to the impact of severe weather and uncertain climate trends. With dry and hot conditions becoming more common, wildfires are growing in intensity, size, and devastation. The 2020 wildfires in Australia were some of the worst on record, with many people saying they had never seen anything like it before. The recent wildfires in France have left vast areas of pine forest scorched and in need of replanting. In order to avoid future blazes, these forests must be dealt with in a different manner, taking into account the effects of global heating. The result is that wildfires continue to be a major threat each year to farmers, who are often forced to fight fires near their fields and risk losing entire crops. As they now become more prevalent, the question remains, are cultivators and growers prepared?

There are so many factors that go into growing things and running a farm. So many variables that sometimes farmers can feel like they’re digging holes to fill other holes.

The one thing that’s consistent in agriculture is inconsistency. You could harvest the best crop of your life, the next year you could have a crop that’s worth nothing. 

There is no shortage of things that can affect the state and health of your trees. Weather, diseases, insects and many other things come into play when producing one of our most beloved fruits. So with various uncontrollable factors affecting our fruit, you are forced to rely on data from previous years to predict what you should expect in the coming year.

How will we be able to feed the world on volatile crops? The answer is data and technology. 

In a world of growing uncertainty, better data can help you assess and mitigate risks. The Outfield system can’t fix climate change, but it can provide you with the information you need to safeguard against risk. Outfield’s platform can give you a quick scan to make informed decisions instantly. You can check out data from your drone through the Outfield platform, where flight plans and maps can be accessed quickly. You don’t have to do any of this manually – once your orchard is uploaded to the platform, you’ll get a custom flight plan that lets you focus on data collection. With its smart flight modes, your drone will return to its precise landing point without fail, so you can upload collected data with a few clicks.

A challenge exists when it comes to solving the challenges of climate change. If you find yourself wanting to reduce the risks, please get in touch with us by emailing hello@outfield.xyz