Modelling regional cropping patterns under scenarios of climate and socio-economic change in Hungary

Li, Sen; Juhász-Horváth, Linda; Pintér, László; Rounsevell, Mark D.A.; Harrison, Paula A. ORCID: 2018 Modelling regional cropping patterns under scenarios of climate and socio-economic change in Hungary. Science of the Total Environment, 622-623. 1611-1620.

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Impacts of socio-economic, political and climatic change on agricultural land systems are inherently uncertain. The role of regional and local-level actors is critical in developing effective policy responses that accommodate such uncertainty in a flexible and informed way across governance levels. This study identified potential regional challenges in arable land use systems, which may arise from climate and socio-economic change for two counties in western Hungary: Veszprém and Tolna. An empirically-grounded, agent-based model was developed from an extensive farmer household survey about local land use practices. The model was used to project future patterns of arable land use under four localised, stakeholder-driven scenarios of plausible future socio-economic and climate change. The results show strong differences in farmers' behaviour and current agricultural land use patterns between the two regions, highlighting the need to implement focused policy at the regional level. For instance, policy that encourages local food security may need to support improvements in the capacity of farmers to adapt to physical constraints in Veszprém and farmer access to social capital and environmental awareness in Tolna. It is further suggested that the two regions will experience different challenges to adaptation under possible future conditions (up to 2100). For example, Veszprém was projected to have increased fallow land under a scenario with high inequality, ineffective institutions and higher-end climate change, implying risks of land abandonment. By contrast, Tolna was projected to have a considerable decline in major cereals under a scenario assuming a de-globalising future with moderate climate change, inferring challenges to local food self-sufficiency. The study provides insight into how socio-economic and physical factors influence the selection of crop rotation plans by farmers in western Hungary and how farmer behaviour may affect future risks to agricultural land systems under environmental change.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: agricultural land use, crop rotation, empirically-grounded agent-based model, environmental change impact assessment, farmer household survey, stakeholder-driven scenarios
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 08 Nov 2017 15:09 +0 (UTC)

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