Key science findings
- Relationship between drought severity and crop yield
- Relationship between drought severity and livestock production
- Economic assessment
Droughts affect crop yield and livestock performance leading to great economic losses in the agricultural sector. Depending on the severity of the drought, which can be expressed using drought indicators (Standardized Precipitation Index, Potential Soil Moisture Deficit, among others), its impacts on agriculture will be more or less significant. The UK has been affected by several drought episodes in the past, with important consequences for the farming industry. This study will aim at getting a predictive relationship between drought indexes (drought severity) and its impacts on agriculture (crop yields, livestock numbers, milk production, etc.) applying statistical methods.
UK historical regional crop and livestock data will be used, together with different drought severity indicators from the CEH Drought Portal. For finding a relationship between drought indicators and detrended yield deviation, a stepwise regression was applied. In this methodology the choice of the predictive variables is carried out by an automatic procedure. All the candidate variables are included at the beginning, and the regression model will delete the variables that are not important for the model in a step by step basis, repeating the process until no further improvement is possible. The results of this study will allow the estimation of regional production losses due to drought conditions for each crop/livestock sector.