According to IIASA, NASA, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) climate change could influence the production of corn and wheat by 2030. In a new study scientists predict corn crop will decline by 24% and the cultivation of wheat could grow about 17%. These results are based on advanced climate and agricultural models.

“We did not expect to see such a fundamental shift, as compared to crop yield projections from the previous generation of climate and crop models conducted in 2014,” explained lead author Jonas Jägermeyr, a crop modeler and climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and The Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York City. The projected corn response was surprisingly large and negative, he said. “A 20% decrease from current production levels could have severe implications worldwide.”

To receive substantiated and preferably precise results the research team used two different sets of models. By using the crop models the researchers could simulate how different crop species grow under various environmental conditions. In the end they were able to create 240 climate simulations for each crop. The team could analyse changes to long-term average crop yields.

They could point out two main results. First, corn yields, that are currently spread nearly all over the world, will decline because the plants cannot stand the rising temperatures. Second wheat can be grown in northern regions, if the climate rises. Thus the opportunities to grow wheat will increase.

“Even under optimistic climate change scenarios, where societies enact ambitious efforts to limit global temperature rise, global agriculture is facing a new climate reality,” Jägermeyr said. “And with the interconnectedness of the global food system, impacts in even one region’s breadbasket will be felt worldwide.”

Both raw materials are key ingredients used for pet food in the US. In 2020, the Pet Food Institute (PFI), Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER) and North American Renderers Association (NARA) released a report listing the most used ingredients in pet food manufactured in the U.S. According to the report corn ist he single most-used ingredient in pet food. Wheat just accounts for one quarter of that amount. Also products made out of corn are commly used in pet food products.

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