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Helping to Ensure a Nutritious Food Supply in the Face of Climate Change

Overview

Americans are encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, meeting increased demand for these highly nutritious foods will be challenging for domestic production regions in the United States. Supply chains are undergoing significant innovation and transformation as a result of multiple drivers including:

  • Consumer preference for fresh, locally grown produce
  • Climate change and increased competition for natural resources
  • Cost and availability of labor
  • Efforts to improve sustainability profiles
  • The rise of protected and peri-urban production

Collaborators & Partners

  • University of Florida (UF)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • University of Arkansas (UARK)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES)
  • Washington State University (WSU)
Crops
8 crops were selected based on importance to nutrition as well as data and model availability:
    • potatoes
    • tomatoes
    • sweet corn
    • green beans
    • carrots
    • spinach
    • strawberries
    • oranges

What We Are Doing

The Agriculture & Food Systems Institute and the University of Florida are co-leading an integrated, transdisciplinary team of scientists, extension specialists, practitioners, and students from several institutions. The project “Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Opportunities” is funded by a $3 million, four-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA), awarded in 2017.

Goal

Through the development of novel integrated modeling methods, the project seeks to identify and test adaptation and mitigation opportunities for fruit and vegetable crops, with the overarching goal of enhancing the productivity, resilience, and sustainability of domestic produce supply chains.

Crop, economic, environmental, and life cycle assessment modeling are being used to determine current and future climate and water availability impacts on yield, quality, price, and environmental profile of selected fruit and vegetable crops.

Crop Modeling

UF, WSU, and UIUC are examining current and future climate and water availability impacts on yield and quality of selected fruit and vegetable crops.

Economic Modeling

IFPRI and WAEES are looking at current and future prices and production costs of selected fruit and vegetable crops, with a focus on California, the Pacific Northwest, and Southeast.

Life Cycle
Assessment Modeling

UARK is identifying and evaluating cost-effective adaptation and mitigation opportunities.

Accountability

AFSI, UF, and WSU are engaging stakeholders and decision makers to ensure models reflect realistic practices, and that the results provide useful, actionable information.

Protocol

The project's crop modeling protocol

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Postcard

A brochure about the project

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Poster

A bird's-eye view of the project

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Media Coverage

Scientists Lead New Efforts to Enhance Sustainability of Produce Supply Chains
USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
Agriculture & Food Systems Institute Co-Leads New Effort to Improve US Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains
With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
USDA Announces More Than $8 Million to Address Shifting Environmental Conditions and Impact on Agriculture
With $3 Million Grant, Researchers Hope to Help Find Sites to Grow Tomorrow’s Produce
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Places for Growing Produce
Researchers Seek Sites for Tomorrow’s Produce
Florida Researchers Seek Production Options
University of Florida Looks for More Places to Grow Produce
USDA Issues $3m Grant to Find More Places for Growing Produce
Agriculture & Food Systems Institute Co-Leads New Effort to Improve US Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains
Research Team Explores Impact of Climate Change on Future of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Discover

Publications

Mitigating Sustainability Tradeoffs as Global Fruit and Vegetable Systems Expand to Meet Dietary Recommendations
Environmental Research Letters | May 4, 2021

This paper examines three examples of important F&V—avocados, leafy greens, and tomatoes—to assess the global challenge of meeting dietary recommendations at affordable prices to consumers while sustaining producer livelihoods and minimizing environmental damage.

Towards a Multiscale Crop Modelling Framework for Climate Change Adaptation Assessment
Nature Plants | April 15, 2020

An advanced multiscale crop modelling framework will enable a gene-to-farm design of resilient and sustainable crop production systems under a changing climate at regional-to-global scales.

Protocol for US Fruit and Vegetable Crop Modeling
October 1, 2018

The goal of this protocol is to assess the climate change impact on fruit and vegetable production and potential adaptations, including possible shifts in production area in the United States.

Events

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