Extreme weather: Risks and solutions to increase the resilience of the Swedish agricultural production

Last changed: 02 August 2021
Hay bales on a field, photo.

Extreme weather can devastate agricultural production, local and regional food security and peoples’ livelihoods and income. In this project we assess the risks and explore solutions for a more resilient agricultural production in Sweden, subject to more frequent extreme weather events.

The extreme drought and heat during the crop season of 2018, resulted in significant impacts for Swedish agriculture, obtaining 50% of average yields, and detrimental reduction on feed and fodder availability for livestock, forcing farmers out of business.

New coping strategies

It was clear that Swedish food security was deeply affected by dwindling national production, the inability to compensate with cheap imports, and lack of adaptive strategies in the event of extreme weather. This project will contribute to new knowledge on occurrence of agro-climatic extreme events under current and changing climate, the associated yield impacts, and the coping strategies by farmers.

Combining agro-climatic characterization and crop modelling

The 3-year interdisciplinary effort will address agro-climatic conditions, crop production and behavioral economics. It will combine agro-climatic characterization and crop modelling, using crop trial data across Sweden, with new data on farmer behavioral responses under extreme weather. The expected results will fill a gap in scientific knowledge on current and future risks to agriculture and food security by extreme weather in Sweden. It will also contribute to design better risk mitigation and/or adaptation action for the agricultural sector.

The project will engage actively with science, policy and practitioners to build resilience into production systems under a ‘new normal’ of extreme weather events.

A preliminary report

Louise Malmquist has written the report Identification and synthesis of agrometeorological extreme weather indicators for the temperate-boreal zone (pdf). Please contact Louise if you have comments: louise.malmquist@slu.se.

Facts:

Funding agency: FORMAS

Period : 2020-2022

Researchers at SLU: 

  • Jennie Barron, Department of Soil And Environment
  • Göran Bergkvist, Department of Crop Production Ecology
  • Marcos Lana, Department of Crop Production Ecology
  • Jens Rommel, Department of Economics
  • Julian Sagebiel, Department of Economics
  • Youen Grusson (external)
Page editor: cajsa.lithell@slu.se