ADAPTATION MEASURE 012
Changing temperatures and weather patterns are diminishing the quality and quantity of agricultural production.
Technological developments and adjustments in the growing environment have helped to maintain the production.
Researchers in the agricultural sector are applying various techniques to combat the ongoing and anticipated impacts of climate change. Technological innovations to adjust the growing environment and methodologies are looked to to maintain the quality and quantity of familiar commercial crops despite the changing climate. (Case studies from A-PLAT)
Protecting carnations from high summer temperatures
The quality of carnations in Hyogo Prefecture, the largest supplier of the flower in the Kansai market, had been declining due to high summer temperatures. To address this issue, the Hyogo Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries experimented with adjusting the air temperature. By setting the air conditioner to 21°C for four hours after sunset, they were able to improve flower quality and productivity while reducing power consumption by 40% compared to using the air conditioner all night. Although this technique requires devices in addition to a heat pump, they found electricity costs for this technique to be practicable for commercial farms.
*This work was partly supported by research projects entitled “Research and development projects for application in promoting new policy of agriculture, forestry and fisheries” and “Science and technology research promotion program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food industry” awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan.
Responding to declining livestock productivity due to rising temperatures
Research by the Mie Prefecture Livestock Research Institute on adjustments in the feed and farm environment have shown promise in ameliorating heat stress impacts on the health and productivity of livestock across the prefecture. Enrichment with an essential amino acid increased cost effectiveness of pig feed. Cooling pads, ventilation systems, and “drop cooling” to wetten livestocks’ necks also proved effective in regulating the barn temperatures.
Development of technology to reduce the occurrence of peach pulp damage
Hot and rainy summers are known to trigger peach defects. Led by Okayama University, Joint Research Institute for the Development of Peach Pulp Disorder Mitigation Technology developed a titanium-coated bag to protect the fruits from extraordinary temperatures. They have also adopted a mulch sheet to limit water absorption by the tree. The innovations, detailed in a 2016 technical manual, are expected to alleviate the anticipated impacts of climate change and are being promoted amongst commercial farmers in the region.
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