The Role of Climate Factors in Shaping China's Crop Mix: An Empirical Exploration Academic Article uri icon


  • A prominent agricultural adaptation to climate change consists in shifting crop mixes toward the poles or upward in elevation. This paper examines the extent to which climate factors have shifted regional crop mixes in China and forecasts how future crop mixes might change under selected climate scenarios. Using a data set that provides planted area shares for each crop in each mainland Chinese province from 2001 to 2013, we employ a fractional multinomial logit (FMLOGIT) model to examine the influence of climate on regional crop mixes under historical as well as future climate conditions. Results show that temperature increases are projected to raise the incidence of wheat and tubers while reducing that for rice and maize, which is conventional food security crops. Moreover, cash crops such as vegetables and orchards and fiber-producing crops will increase, whereas oil-bearing crops and specialty crops will decrease. This paper is the first of its kind to examine climate impacts on the regional portfolio of crop mixes across Mainland China. The findings have important implications for foreseeing needed efforts to maintain food production in the face of future climate change and pointing out cases where adaptation efforts may be desirable.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Y. W., Mu, J. E., Musumba, M., McCarl, B. A., Gu, X., Zhou, Y., Cao, Z., & Li, Q.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Yuquan W||Mu, Jianhong E||Musumba, Mark||McCarl, Bruce A||Gu, Xiaokun||Zhou, Yuanfei||Cao, Zhengwei||Li, Qiang

publication date

  • October 2018