Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

Anna – Maria Soja and Gerhard Soja:

Effects of weather conditions on agricultural crop production in Austria between 1869 and 2003


Which kind of extreme weather causes bad harvests? This question was analysed for seven agricultural crop species in three regions of Austria. The data consisted of the area-based agro-statistical surveys and the monthly means of meteorological parameters from 1869 to 2003. The resulting relations are summarised in the following conclusions about the effects of future possible climatic developments in Austria:

• Milder winters will be especially advantageous if no extreme temperatures occur in February. This would be beneficial mainly for winter cereals and grapevine.

• Dry weather in spring is especially disadvantageous for spring cereals.

• Cereals require dry weather in the harvest months to avoid yield losses.

• Dry, hot summers are unfavourable for sugar beet and corn, to a lesser extent for potato.

• Viniculture could be among the winners if modelled climatic shifts for Austria turn into reality.

Key words: Weather, climate change, bad harvest, crop yield, Austria.