Modifications to planting dates based on warmer temperatures to improve maize yields
Crop models were used to simulate the impact of climate and agricultural practices on crops. The agricultural practices that were simulated include adjustments to planting dates and fertilizer amounts. The simulation suggested that early planting and late planting would produce higher yields depending on the climate scenario in Malawi and Swaziland. An assessment of the variance of yields and mean yields together also suggested that it is difficult to ascertain which planting dates would be more beneficial to smallholder farmers under climate change. Lesotho on the other hand appeared to benefit from late planting. While it is not clear which planting dates resulted in higher yields under the control period, late planting consistently resulted in higher maize yields under future conditions. Late planting may also aid in taking advantage of the warmer climate in Lesotho, thereby resulting in higher yields.