Climate Change and Food Security with Emphasis on Wheat - Chapter 1: Better farming practices to combat climate change

Elsevier, Climate Change and Food Security with Emphasis on Wheat, 2020, Pages 1-29
Ioannis Mylonas, Dimitris Stavrakoudis, Dimitris Katsantonis, and Evangelos Korpetis

The intensification of the conventional farming systems has led to extensive usage of agricultural machinery, high-demanding varieties, and agrochemicals, resulting in negative environmental impacts such as groundwater pollution and atmospheric contamination that exacerbates the greenhouse effect. The environmental pressure has adverse effects not only on human health and natural resources but also on the sustainability of agricultural production itself. The cultivation of adaptable varieties (AVs) is an effective and low-cost agronomic practice for sustainable wheat production under current and climate change scenarios. AVs are bred broadening the genetic base of wheat, using selected wild relatives and landraces that are tolerant to abiotic and biotic stresses, and have a sorter biological circle and responsiveness to low inputs. Precision agriculture (PA) is another efficient way to mitigate the impacts of climate change (even the exogenous ones), protect natural resources, and increase food security. PA is a whole-farm management approach that employs information technology, specialized machinery, and remotely sensed or proximal data, to reduce the inputs but secure production at the same time. This chapter analyzes several such management practices for sustainable cereals production with care to the environment and humans during the climatic changes' era, including AVs cultivation, PA, agronomic practices as management of sowing date, crop rotation including legumes, mycorrhizal fungi, fertilization for sustainable agriculture, low or conservation tillage practices, diseases and pests forecasting systems, GPS-driven practices, and variable rate technologies.