The economic impact of changes in climate variability on milk production in the area of Grana Padano

Gabriele Dono


Climate variability (CV) normally influences production and farm management, and climate change (CC) has precisely the effect of changing this variability. Thus, models that estimate the economic impact of CC, integrating with climatic models, agronomic, and livestock, must represent the implications of this variability on farm management. This study describes an economic model based on Discrete Stochastic Programming (DSP) which assesses the impact of CC on milk production in the Grana Padano area. The model is based on 23 farm typologies from FADN that represent 856 farms in Piacenza and Cremona, two of the most important provinces for Grana Padano production. The results of the model were projected at the regional scale. The climate scenarios, current and future, are generated with a Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. The forage production under these scenarios is estimated with the EPIC agronomic model. Estimates on milk production and livestock mortality are based on studies conducted in the Po valley. The nutritional needs of the cattle are estimated with the CNCPS model. Probability distribution functions (PDF) express the relations between the CV and the productive variables under both climate scenarios. These PDFs represent the expectations of farmers on the productive-climate variability in the DSP model, which is PMP calibrated based on land distribution observed in a reference year. Comparing the model results in the two scenarios indicates the effects of CC, given the opportunity to adapt the use of resources and techniques of cultivation. The structure of the model, and its economic results are presented and discussed, along with the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.

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Authors: Gabriele Dono, Raffaele Cortignani, Davide Dell’Unto

Affiliation: Department of Science and Technology for Agriculture, Forestry, Nature and Energy (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy.

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