Project: Ontario Climate and Agriculture Assessment Framework (OCAAF)

Climate change creates both risks and opportunities for Ontario agriculture. Managing for increased agricultural productivity and working to reduce risks under climate change will require careful consideration of changing weather and climate conditions, as well as key landscape and soil characteristics, crop suitability, farm management options, and policy and program support. However, the impacts of climate change on agriculture will not be the same everywhere, and impacts to productivity are expected to vary by region and sub-region.

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. The purpose of the OCAAF is to inform 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; and
  2. corn production in southwestern Ontario.

The results of this project provide information that characterizes the opportunities and risks associated with these two agricultural system-region pairings, currently and under a range of projected future climate scenarios out to 2050. The results of these two agricultural system-region pairings can be found below, including maps, charts, graphs and tables that demonstrate the eventual impacts of climate change on crop yield.

In addition to the results from these two applications, 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:

Project Results

Project Webinar

Clay Belt Assessment Results

Southwestern Ontario Assessment Results

Adaptation Options

Policy Briefs