TOR Corn / Beans Climate Change Report for CA-4

There is a recent report on the expected impact of climate change on the principal consumption crops in Central America. The Buffett Foundation and Catholic Relief Services funded a CIAT & CIMMYT study (International Center for Tropical Agriculture & International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, respectively). The primary focus is what damaged will be incurred to corn and bean crops in CA-4, (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua) with shifting patterned rainfall and slightly warmer temperatures. The study uses a first-round year 2020 projection date, and second round 2050. The reports project the impact a one degree Celsius temperature rise by the 2020s and two by 2050. Unlike many "climate studies" this was a major project and analysis reaches the local level. Climate projections @ 5 km2 resolution or higher across all four countries, across two separate time-frames – so outcomes and responses can be addressed at that same level. The details are available in the report, linked below. The primary concern is impact on rainfall which is expected to coincide with the first and second planting seasons – and extend the post-rain dry season (canicula), as well as a rise in night time temperature. The impact is greatest on areas with the weakest growing soil, and as the report seems to show, there are many fringe growing areas which are unlikely to survive even minor changes without measurable production losses. On a national basis, though the outcomes are not the same per beans and corn, basic projections are best (least worst) for Nicaragua and worst for Honduras. Huge production losses are predicted in the countries. Though more complex than yesterday's newspaper bylines, the expected result is losses exceeding US$120 million by 2020s, which will threaten the income/livelihood of nearly 1 million small farmers. See "TORTILLAS ON THE ROASTER (TOR): CENTRAL AMERICAN MAIZE-BEAN SYSTEMS AND THE CHANGING CLIMATE"; the TOR Full Technical Report, 117-pages ; TOR Final Report, 53-pages ; TOR Summary Report, 17-pages

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Bad News

While climate models and projections haven't proved their trustworthiness yet, this is still bad news for the CA-4 countries, because some climate change will happen. Not only is the CA-4 domestic food-security threatened, but lots of small farmers will not be able to produce their own food anymore. Meaning more unemployment and at the same time more maize/bean imports, that will have a higher price. I wonder if CA politicians will take appropriate measures in time.

on a micro-level...

I know we had a tough time growing beans this year. Corn is doing well though...

Supposedly the dry season will effectively end in October with little to no transition period in November. Folks planting a bit late may not have enough rain for their crops to mature correctly.

Doors of hope fly open when doors of promise shut. -Thomas D'Arcy McGee