The predicted impact of climate change on maize production in Northern Serbia


The projected climate change is expected to have detrimental impact on agricultural production in Northern Serbia, which imposes the need to develop mitigation strategies that will provide a stable yield and income of growing plants in the coming years. Maize is the most important crop in Serbia which occupies the largest sown area. In the present study, the aim was to determine how the average yield of rainfed maize will change in near future (2001-2030) relative to the present and if the currently or higher irrigation rate can be used as a strategy to mitigate the effect of predicted weather scenario on maize yield. AquaCrop model was calibrated with the data derived from the field experiment with rainfed and irrigated maize (2015-2018) (relative standard error ≤ 5% in rainfed and ≤ 7.3% in the irrigated trial), which was used for the simulation of maize yield. The results of the validation showed very good performance of the model (root mean square error of 0.22 and 0.16 was obtained for rainfed and irrigated maize, respectively). The model predicts the loss of maize yield of 15% with respect to maize yield from the experiment. In the predicted scenario, irrigation with average irrigation rate of 200 mm applied in the region of Northern Serbia is expected to increase the yield of maize by approximately 28%. Increased irrigation rate (250 and 300 mm) will reduce the yield of maize in comparison to the current one, thus the creation of stable maize hybrids with the increased water use efficiency should be considered as a strategy for alleviating climate change effect on maize production in the near future. 


AquaCrop, climate change, maize, irrigation rate, yield

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013