A linked-modeling framework to estimate maize production risk associated with ENSO-related climate variability in Argentina

R. Andrés Ferreyra, Guillermo P. Podestá, Carlos D. Messina, David Letson, Julio Dardanelli, Edgardo Guevara, Santiago Meira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A risk assessment framework is presented to characterize the vulnerability of agricultural production systems to El Niño-southern oscillation (ENSO)-related climate variability. The framework was applied to current maize production systems in two locations (Pergamino and Pilar) in the Pampas of central-eastern Argentina. Climatic, agronomic, and economic models were linked to produce probability distributions of farm-level yields and net returns by ENSO phase. Generally, an enhanced chance of higher (lower) simulated maize yields existed during warm (cold) ENSO events. However, regional differences existed: the effect of warm events on yields was more marked in Pilar, but Pergamino showed a proportionally stronger response to cold events. The modeling framework allowed the exploration of outcomes of high and low scenarios of soil water availability at planting time and ENSO phase. High initial soil water availability in Pilar offset increased yield risks from dry conditions associated with cold ENSO events. Fluctuations of output prices were shown to have considerable influence on the risk associated with ENSO-related climate variability. Despite these general results, there was considerable overlap in yields and net returns for the various ENSO phases. This overlap has significant implications for the adoption of ENSO forecasts in agriculture. The risk assessment framework developed here is a necessary precursor to risk management studies that prescribe or describe possible responses to expected climate scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2001


  • Climate impacts
  • Crop yield
  • El Niño-southern oscillation
  • Maize

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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