Ontario Climate and Agriculture Assessment Framework (OCAAF)

The success of Ontario’s agri-food sector depends on knowledge of future weather and climate implications for the fundamental biological, chemical, and physical components that underlie resilient and productive agri-food systems.

Ontario’s climate is warming and becoming increasingly variable, increasing the need to assess and manage agricultural climate risks. The focus of this research is to develop and pilot a regional framework to assess baseline and future agroclimatic vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities. The goal 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. It will help prepare us for the impacts of climate change and develop adaptation options. Ultimately, this will contribute to rural development and food security in Ontario.

The Ontario Climate and Agriculture Assessment Framework (OCAAF) intends to provide a consistent and robust means to support regional-level assessments of baseline and future agroclimatic risks and opportunities in the context of other major production influences in Ontario. Designed to inform climate-adaptive agri-food strategies, policies and programs in Ontario, the framework will support the policy goal of maintaining (or enhancing) agricultural productivity under a changing climate. As such, the OCAAF must generate estimates of agricultural productivity and agricultural loss as key outcome variables.

The beta version of OCAAF has been developed with a focus on forage systems in the Northern Clay Belt of Ontario.