Main Article Content
This study assessed the potential impacts of climate change on potato production in the United Kingdom. Climate change actions are becoming a nightmare for growers worldwide, and the British potato industry is not an exception. Extreme weather conditions were experienced in 2006, 2012, and 2018, respectively. Thus, this study identified the future climate risk associated with major potato producing regions in the UK using the recent climate projection weather data (UKCP18) based on RCP 8.5. In total, the study considered seven (7) regions with a minimum average of 3000 hectares of potato planted area in the past five years. Findings showed that drought, high temperatures, and prolonged precipitation caused significant yield and quality loss in the past, with a likelihood of causing a more harmful impact in the future. The analysis revealed a hotter (Tmax ≥ 25°C, Tmin ≥ 15°C) and drier (1-1.5 mm day-1) summer most especially in the EE, EM, SW, WM, and YH as well as a warmer (Tmax& Tmin 6-10°C) and wetter winter (5 mm day-1 on average) in Scotland and North West England respectively. Future climate is predicted to hinder land preparation and harvesting operation in the Northern regions while the EE, EM, SW, WM, and YH would be faced with drought, with irrigation and water demand increasing by 20-30% as evapotranspiration also increases by 20-30% in 2050-2080. Irrigated potatoes are predicted to double its current spatial coverage in the future. The study identified suitable adaptation measures and strategies required to reduce the impacts of climate change on the British potato industry.
Morison J, Matthews R. Agriculture and forestry climate change impacts summary report. Living with Environmental Change; 2016.
Eitzinger J, Orlandini S, Stefanski R, Naylor R. Climate change and agriculture: Introductory editorial. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 2010;148(5):499- 500.
Hijmans RJ. The effect of climate change on global potato production. American Journal of Potato Research. 2003;80(4):271-279.
AHDB GB Potatoes: Market Intelligence 2018-19. AHDB Potatoes; 2018.
(Accessed on the 5th of June, 2019)
AHDB Potato Production Hits Lowest Level since 2012. AHDB Potatoes; 2018.
(Accessed on the 12th of May, 2019)
Tanneberger F, Moen A, Joosten H, Nilsen N. The peatland map of Europe. Mires and Peat. 2017;19:1–17.
OFNS-Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mid-2018. Office for National Statistics; 2019.
(Accessed on the 9th of July, 2019)
Angus A, Burgess P, Morris J, Lingard J. Agriculture and land use: Demand for and supply of agricultural commodities, characteristics of the farming and food industries and implications for land use in the UK. Land Use Policy. 2009;26:S230-S242.
Collier R, Thomas B. Agriculture and forestry climate change report card technical paper 5. Climate Change Impacts on Horticulture; 2016.
Lowe J, Bernie D, Bett P, Bricheno L, Brown S, Calvert D, Clark R, Eagle K, Edwards T, Fosser G. UKCP18 Science Overview Report. Met Office; 2018.
Daccache A, Keay C, Jones RJ, Weatherhead E, Stalham M, Knox JW. Climate change and land suitability for potato production in England and Wales: Impacts and adaptation. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 2012;150(2):161-177.
Thompson A, King J, Smith K, Tiffin D. Opportunities for reducing water use in agriculture. Defra Research Project Final Report for WU0101; 2007.
AHDB-2018 Earlies Planting Significantly Hampered by Weather. AHDB Potatoes. [Online]
(Accessed on the 5th of June, 2019)
Adesina OS, Mohammed I. Potential impact of climate change on wheat production in Cambridgeshire, UK. Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering. 2019;5(2):2381-6848.
Collier R, Fellows JR, Adams SR, Semenov M, Thomas B. Vulnerability of horticultural crop production to extreme weather events. Aspects of Applied Biology. 2008;88:3-14.
Knox D, Daccache D, Weatherhead D, Stalham D. Climate change impacts on the UK potato industry. Kenilworth: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; 2010.
Firman D, O'Brien P, Allen E. Predicting the emergence of potato sprouts. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 1992;118(1):55-61.
Defra-Vulnerability of UK Agriculture to Extreme Events - AC0301; 2008.
(Accessed on the 1st of June, 2019)
Nemes Z, Baciu A, Popa D, Mike L, Petrus–Vancea A, Danci O. The study of the potato’s life–cycle phases important to the increase of the individual variability. Analele Universitatii din Oradea, Fascicula Biologie, Tom. 2008;15:60- 63.
Defra - Food 2030, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London; 2010.
(Accessed on the18th of May, 2019)
Obidiegwu JE, Flath K, Gebhardt C. Managing potato wart: A review of present research status and future perspective. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 2014;127(4):763-780.
Jenkins GJ, Murphy JM, Sexton DM, Lowe JA, Jones P, Kilsby CG. UK Climate Projections Briefing Report; 2010.
Stalham M, Allen E, Herry F. Effects of soil compaction on potato growth and its removal by cultivation. British Potato Council: Oxford, UK; 2005.
Weatherhead E, Howden N. The relationship between land use and surface water resources in the UK. Land Use Policy. 2009;26:S243-S250.
Downing TE, Butterfield R, Edmonds B, Knox JW, Moss S, Piper B, Weatherhead E. CCDeW: Climate change and demand for water; 2003.
Wolf J. Comparison of two potato simulation models under climate change. II. Application of climate change scenarios. Climate Research. 2002;21(2):187-198.
Jones HG. Plants and microclimate: A quantitative approach to environmental plant physiology. Cambridge University Press; 2013.