Rising concerns about climate change and its effects to Nordic agricultural practices were discussed in a scientific practical conference „Agriculture in changing climate” in Tartu.

The event created a platform for knowledge transfer between agricultural stakeholders, public and academic institutions in the Nordic region.

Prof. Ülo Niinemets (Estonian University of Life Sciences) introduced the significance of stress adaptability of plants in global variation of carbon sequestration capacity. He suggests there is a great potential in yield gap reduction by modifying plant photosynthetic capacity.

Janina Käyhkö (University of Helsinki) has identified the threshold values for maladaptation by means of serious gaming in the framework of the study “Climate change adaptation in the Northern European agriculture“. As a result, a typology of risk responses was clarified, with three dominant patterns within dynamic and contextual adaptation processes at farm scale: risk aversive, opportunity-seeking and experimental.

Prof. Algimantas Paulauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania) presented the climate change impacts and amplifiers from the perspective of the Baltic Region. The effect of projected changes on animal husbandry, crop pest and disease distribution and incidence of vector-borne diseases was clarified.

Ragnar Leming (Estonian University of Life Sciences) outlined the current status and results of the LIFE AgriAdapt project, focussing on animal husbandry and climate change. Providing incentive for listeners to follow up the project activities, he introduced the LIFE AgriAdapt webtool as a product giveaway.

Prof. Indrikis Krams (Daugavpils University, Latvia), in order to explain the effect of climate change on insect populations, demonstrated an integrated approach in ecological research of environmental stress. The direction and magnitude of the outcome of combined effects on insect phenotype formation and survival ability, caused by climate, pesticides and predators are difficult to predict, unless explicit attention to ecological stoichiometry is given to reach a more holistic understanding of organismal responses to fluctuating selection pressures.

Sigmar Suu (Estonian Ministry of Rural affairs) exemplified the principles of Integrated Plant Protection and CAP measures in the perspective of Climate Smart Crop Protection. To promote environmental and climate measures as well as contribution of EU climate and environment targets by crop protection intervention measures, the local information is planned to be accumulated into a robust big data provision system to improve field-specific decision making and mitigate pest risk.

Tarmo Lääne (Insurance Association) introduced the background and future plans for local commercial association as a new form of potential provider of crop insurance. First stage of business plan foresees only the entry into the market by 4 major insurance products to create the basis for reliable customer service.

Roosi Soosaar (Innovation cluster on Field Crops; OÜ Frenord) shared the first-hand experience of the LIFE AgriAdapt Project pilot farm providing the case study for practical aspects by focussing on soil and environmental sustainability. Precision agriculture, remote sensing, intercropping, organic soil amendments and innovative machinery were some of the ideas to be developed in the domain of adaptation measures.

The conference was organised by Estonian University of Life Sciences on Wednesday, 27. November 2019 and was supported by Long-term program of knowledge transfer in crop production and LIFE project LIFE AgriAdapt Sustainable adaptation of typical EU farming systems to climate change.