Professor Derek Stewart, director of Advanced Plant Growth Centre:

'Changing climate could boost Tayside and Fife economy'

According to a Perthshire-based expert in crop science, more hot weather might be good for the local economy. Professor Derek Stewart is the director of the Advanced Plant Growth Centre (APGC) at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie. According to him, higher temperatures could provide Tayside and Fife farmers with a boost in producing some of the region’s key cash crops. But if prolonged spells of heat become the norm, local farmers could have to change what they grow and how they grow it.

Sustained hot periods – such as the ongoing heatwave – will damage the famously fertile soil across Angus and parts of Fife and Perthshire.

Professor Stewart acknowledged the huge, negative global impacts of climate change. But he added there are likely to be some benefits for Tayside and Fife agricultural businesses on a “micro-level”.

Professor Stewart said: “In a micro-environment, Scotland might be expanding the level it can grow into. That’s at the loss of huge areas in the south of England, Spain and places like that. The demand for Scotland to produce more food will only increase because we will have to start supplying down south a lot more. Climate change is a bad story. On a local level – it could bring some benefits for the local economy.”


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