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What Models Can Tell Us about how Climate Change Will Affect Regional Agriculture

Jan 31, 10am (Tuesday) What Models Can Tell Us about how Climate Change Will Affect Regional Agriculture

Part 1: Agricultural production in the Columbia River basin under global change

Kirti Rajagopalan will provide an overview of her research into projected near-term climate change impacts on crop yields and irrigation demands in the Columbia River basin. She will explore how researchers and producers prepare for future climate conditions by learning from growing condition analogues, or time periods or locations with current growing conditions that are very similar to those projected for the future in our location of interest.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how climate change might affect agricultural production (crop yields and irrigation demands) directly and indirectly in the near term.
  2. Understand how the net response of crop yields and irrigation demands might evolve over time

Part 2: What is the potential for regional producers to mitigate the negative economic impacts of climate change through farm level management?

Increasingly common and severe droughts associated with climate change present a challenge to irrigated agricultural producers. However, there are a large number of potential adaptation strategies that could be used to mitigate the economic impacts. Dr. Mike Brady will describe modeling tools used to estimate the potential value of alternative strategies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand which drought mitigation strategies are likely to do the best job of minimizing losses during droughts.
  2. Gain background to assess which drought mitigation strategies entail the least tradeoffs in non-drought years.

kirti-rajagopalanKirti Rajagopalan is a research associate with WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. She recently completed her PhD in Civil Engineering at WSU in Pullman. Her interests include decision support tools for agriculture, impacts of climate on agricultural production, water for agriculture, data visualization, and stakeholder engagement. Kirti has previously worked at Deere and Co. and as an independent consultant in marketing analytics.


mike-brady-cropMike Brady is an Assistant Professor in the School of Economic Sciences and an Extension Economist at WSU in Pullman. Mike focuses on specialty crop production including tree fruits, vineyards, vegetables, horticulture, and nursery crops. He also has an interest in issues related to water use and irrigated agriculture and is involved in a number of projects focusing on modeling coupled human and environmental systems in an interdisciplinary framework. Mike has analyzed the economic impact of various agriculture industries in Washington. He also conducts research on farmland ownership, agricultural land values, and land use change.