Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Environmental Research Letters 2 (2007), 011002; doi 10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/011002 Copyright © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd. Used by permission.


There is a new urgency to improve the accuracy of predicting climate change impact on crop yields because the balance between food supply and demand is shifting abruptly from surplus to deficit. This reversal is being driven by a rapid rise in petroleum prices and, in response, a massive global expansion of biofuel production from maize, oilseed, and sugar crops. Soon the price of these commodities will be determined by their value as feedstock for biofuel rather than their importance as human food or livestock feed [1]. The expectation that petroleum prices will remain high and supportive government policies in several major crop producing countries are providing strong momentum for continued expansion of biofuel production capacity and the associated pressures on global food supply.