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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture . Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds So what’s the future outlook on climate smart agriculture and other forms of sustainable farming? Well, the bad news is that even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases today, climate change will continue to happen for decades. So there is an inevitable need to adapt. It’s all happening very, very slowly in terms of our life span. But if you down the line, 100 or 200 years, then the effects will be devastating. We won’t experience it, but our grandchildren will. And they will not be happy. So I think we need to do is to move to an area where we are self-sufficient And therefore, as early as possible in food production and energy production, in particular.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds There are lots of new techniques that viticulturists should use to mitigate the climate change. We have to use our scientific information to conduct the vineyard in a new way. The responsibility to adapt is not only with the farmers, but also with governments, the industry, and the consumer. Governments can get together and make agreements that limit our emissions of gases and other things into the atmosphere. More recently, the United Nations has got together and put limits on the amount of greenhouse gases we’re emitting, for example, carbon dioxide and methane. Agriculture has a large potential to sequence the greenhouse gases. And exploiting this process offers an opportunity to limit the impacts of climate change on future food production.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds Furthermore, and from the perspective of adaptation to climate change, farmers have always been adapting and adopting new techniques. There’s no reason to believe that they will do otherwise in this instance. We have therefore every reason to be optimistic. Climate change of whatever origin with its increases in frequency of floods, droughts, desertification. Another extreme events is already having an impact on the agricultural productivity in many areas of the world. But to end on a positive note, it’s also like that changes in climate may well lead to the opening up of new regions for forms of agriculture that are currently not possible. This is a fourth year in a row we’ve had an excellent crop.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds The weather has just become more suited to grow in the varieties that we grow. Life is a lot easier. One approach that’s been suggested is that we might have islands of intensification. So sustainable intensification, higher yielding cows that are housed year round that are producing milk more efficiently from the resources that we available. I’m optimistic about the future, as with PICSA. We’ve shown that you’re able to use historical climate information mixed with seasonal forecasts, short-term forecasts, and locally specific options to help farmers to make evidence-based decisions and to improve their livelihoods.

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 seconds We hope that throughout this course we can show you that there is not this one single solution that will solve all problems, but that there are different approaches to adapt agriculture and that each option has to be matched with the farm, a sector, a region or a value chain.

What next?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the course!

Are you feeling inspired to continue your studies on the topic of Agriculture? Have you considered studying our BSc Agriculture course at the University of Reading?

Further study at the University of Reading

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading is a world leader in teaching and research, maintaining a reputation developed since the 1800’s. Our focus is to provide the individuals and knowledge to address the major challenges and opportunities in our sector for the 21st century. Research and teaching addresses: food production, the sustainability of agro-ecosystems, food security, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, food chains and health, animal welfare and behaviour, poverty alleviation, international development, and consumer behaviour and choice. You can keep up to date with our research on our website and our social media accounts: Twitter and Facebook.

Why study at the University of Reading?

  • The University of Reading is a consistently high-performing UK university, with over 19,000 students.
  • We are also home to the Walker Institute and to the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research
  • In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), our research was internationally recognised, with 81% rated as internationally excellent and 45% as world-leading, which means that what we do has a global impact.
  • The University of Reading submission to the Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science panel was ranked fourth out of 30 submissions on “Research Power”. In the 2019 QS World Subject Rankings, we were ranked 9th for Agriculture and Forestry research. We are also consistently ranked as the UK’s top university for impact in Agricultural Sciences research (ISI Web of Knowledge, Essential Science Indicators).

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This video is from the free online course:

The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture

University of Reading