Arable crop disease control, climate change and food security
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
West, Jon S.
Global food security is threatened by crop diseases that account for average yield losses of 16%. Climate change is exacerbating threats to food security in much of the world, emphasising the need to increase food production in northern European countries such as the UK. However, to mitigate climate change, crops must be grown so as to minimise greenhouse gas emissions (GHG); results with UK oilseed rape demonstrate how disease control in arable crops can contribute to climate change mitigation. However, work examining impacts of climate change on UK epidemics of winter oilseed rape diseases illustrates unexpected, contrasting impacts of climate change on complex plant-disease interactions. In England, phoma stem canker is expected to become more severe whilst light leaf spot is expected to become less severe. Such work can provide guidance for government and industry planning for adaptation to impacts of climate change on crops to ensure future food security.