Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Enhance Adaptation

A large focus of the climate Centre is on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will increasingly impact on agricultural production primarily due to increased rainfall in spring and autumn impacting and reduced rainfall in the summer. Wet spring and autumn periods can result in poor trafficability impacting on grazing of grasslands, sowing and harvesting of crops. Droughts in summer due to reduced rainfall can reduce the yield of grassland and crops leading to feed shortages for animals and increasing the potential for pest and diseases outbreaks. There is a growing need to adapt our agricultural systems to increase the resilience of the Irish agriculture and food sector to the impact of climate change. We will also need to consider adaptation of our systems in the light of the impact of climate change on global food production and security.


  • Examine the impact of climate change on the sustainability of Irish grass-based production system
  • Development of existing systems or novel systems and management practices that are more resilient to the effects of predicted climate change.
  • Develop NFS production models to assess the effect that climate change poses to farm profitability and what changes are required to improve sustainability for a range of climate scenarios.

Pre-breeding: trait and marker identification for crop, grass, clover and mixed species forages for climate resilience, disease, pests under a range of future climate scenarios (extremes and averages Expand networks to include regions that are experiencing climate change similar to Ireland (desk top) take material and then test it in Ireland under changing climate variation (drought and rainfall simulation). Review current activities in forage pre-breeding and breeding targets/traits in the programme.

Immediate actions

  • The production and management of resilient grasses and forages for the future Irish grass-based production systems
  • New crops and cropping systems
  • New pest and weed control

Posssible impact of climate change on Irish Agriculture

Current projections for Irish climate for the middle of the present century suggest:

  • Winters will be significantly warmer than at present
  • Summers will also be warmer with the greatest warming away from the coasts.
  • Winters are likely to be wetter in most parts, by up to 20% in the west, while summers are likely to be drier 


Adaptations required may include:

  • earlier planting and harvesting dates
  • capital investment in irrigation equipment
  • dealing with relatively rare plant diseases
  • farm animals suffererig more from a range of tick-borne pathogens.

Farmers will also need to be aware of opportunities which arise as a result of adverse changes in agriculture elsewhere in the EU. Adverse impacts of climate change on agricultural production elsewhere in the EU may create new market opportunities.

Current Research Projects

Current Climate Centre research projects focusing on Enhancing Adaptation

In this edition of the Signpost Series, which took place in August 2020, host Mark Gibson was joined by Damien Wyse, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Michael O'Donovan, Teagasc to discuss adapting to the Impacts of Climate change in the Agriculture Sector and how can we improve grass growth variability followed by a questions and answers session with the audience.