Ontario Climate and Agriculture Assessment Framework (OCAAF): Assessing agroclimatic risks and opportunities for two regions and production systems in Ontario

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August 23, 2017

Presented by:

  • Al Douglas (Director, Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources)
  • Dr. Neil Comer (Senior Climatologist, Risk Sciences International)

The Ontario Climate and Agriculture Assessment Framework (OCAAF) is a decision-support tool for application at regional scales to assess baseline and future agroclimatic risks and opportunities. It builds upon the existing Land Suitability Rating System (LSRS) developed by Agriculture and Agrifood Canada. The overall purpose of the OCAAF project was to inform the policy, program and management choices of key stakeholders in Ontario’s agri-food sector, so as to maintain or enhance agricultural productivity under a changing climate. The initial design of the OCAAF was tested and refined through application to two distinct areas and production systems in Ontario:

  1. forage-based beef production in Ontario’s Great Clay Belt (specifically looking at timothy); and
  2. corn production in southwestern Ontario (in eco-district 7E-1).

In addition to the OCAAF and its products, key considerations for provincial policy were also developed. With improved knowledge of the potential impacts of climate change and other factors on productivity, provincial policies and programs can be developed or improved to manage risks and capitalize on opportunities. Considerations were developed and submitted to provincial policy and program managers in two formats:

  • a suite of adaptation options for each region and production system studied; and
  • thematic policy briefs that stem from results of the OCAAF’s two applications.

This webinar provided a summary of the results from the OCAAF project, including maps and charts that demonstrate the expected impacts of climate change on crop yield.