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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

Climate Indicators for Agriculture
USDA Technical Bulletin | July 29, 2020

This report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture focuses on how agricultural systems are impacted by climate change and offers a list of 20 indicators that provide a broad look at what is happening across the country.

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.

Using ICT for remote sensing, crowdsourcing and big data to unlock the potential of agriculture data
World Bank | June 27, 2017

ICT in Agriculture, Updated Edition is the revised version of the popular ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook, first launched in 2011 and designed to support practitioners, decision makers, and development partners who work at the intersection of ICT and agriculture. Dr. Morven McLean, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, was a co-author of Chapter 15: “Using ICT for remote sensing, crowdsourcing and big data to unlock the potential of agriculture data. This chapter features an innovative practice summary of the Crop Composition Database.

Feasibility Study of Iron Fortification of Rice in Sub- Saharan Africa
| July 1, 2017

This report contains information on the current health situation, rice production and distribution systems, and potential partners in ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Crop Health and Its Global Impacts on the Components of Food Security
Food Security | March 17, 2017

This article attempts to develop a framework that would enable assessment of the impacts of plant diseases, referred collectively to as crop health, on food security via its components. Given the number of components and interactions at play, a systems modelling approach is required to address the functioning of food systems exposed to plant disease risks.

CQuest: Charting a Course for Climate Research in Agriculture Workshop Summary Report
| December 1, 2016

This report contains a full session summary, participation and polling information, and the top research targets identified for US Agriculture during C-Quest: Charting a Course for Climate Research in Agriculture. It also includes research needs and polling results for each of the breakout topics.

Assessing Sustainable Nutrition Security: The Role of Food Systems
| June 1, 2014

This working paper explores the key domains of sustainable nutrition security (SNS).

Events

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