Agronomy, Vol. 12, Pages 37: Adaptation Potential of Current Wheat Cultivars and Planting Dates under the Changing Climate in Ethiopia

Agronomy doi: 10.3390/agronomy12010037

Tsedale Demelash
Martial Amou
Amatus Gyilbag
Goitom Tesfay
Yinlong Xu

Global warming poses a severe threat to food security in developing countries. In Ethiopia, the primary driver of low wheat productivity is attributed to climate change. Due to the sparsity of observation data, climate-related impact analysis is poorly understood, and the adaptation strategies studied so far have also been insufficient. This study adopted the most popular DSSAT CERES-Wheat model and the ensemble mean of four GCMs to examine the quantitative effects of adjusted sowing dates and varieties on wheat yield. The two new cultivars (Dandaa and Kakaba), with reference to an old cultivar (Digelu), were considered for the mid-century (2036–2065) and late-century (2066–2095) under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 climate scenarios. The results showed that the Dandaa cultivar demonstrates better adaptation potential at late sowing with a yield increase of about 140 kg/ha to 148 kg/ha for the mid- and late-century under RCP4.5. However, under RCP 8.5, Kakaba demonstrates higher adaptation potential with a yield gain for early sowing of up to 142 kg/ha and 170 kg/ha during the mid- and late-century, respectively. Late sowing of the Dandaa cultivar is recommended if GHG emissions are cut off at least to the average scenario, while the Kakaba cultivar is the best option when the emissions are high. The adaptation measures assessed in this study could help to enhance wheat production and adaptability of wheat to the future climate.

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