Future Food Security in the Nordic-Baltic Region: Merging Past, Present, and Future

The Nordic-Baltic region is expected to experience some of the largest effects of global climate change in the next decades. To ensure long-term food security, Nordic-Baltic crops must be adapted to these shifts. Breeding a new crop variety can take twenty to thirty years and thus it is imperative that breeders begin creating the crops of the future today. In order to chart a course through the breeding process to arrive at a target crop variety, breeders need information on the expected future climate throughout the Nordic-Baltic region.

In addition, they need historical information that relates crop performance to observed weather, in a format tailored to their objectives. Ideally, they also have access to a purpose-built statistical toolkit that can flexibly relate observed performance to historical weather and thereby project the performance of new crop varieties in the future Nordic-Baltic climate. Much of this information can be found already, but it exists across a broad range of different sources or in a format not immediately useful to crop scientists.

The purpose of this consortium is to build a Nordic-Baltic-level crop and climate information data store that allows Nordic and Baltic crop breeders to quickly access a broad array of weather and crop productivity information. In addition, we will provide flexible statistical tools that will enable researchers to relate historical crop performance to weather and determine how future crops will perform in a changed Nordic-Baltic climate. This one-stop data repository and the associated statistical toolkit will enable crop scientists to more efficiently assess their breeding roadmap and improve their ability to begin creating tomorrow's crop varieties.