Climate change and its effects on Norwegian potato production:How to counteract the negative impacts of soil compaction by implementing a predictive simulation model
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- Master Thesis 
In a world where the population is immersed in the negative effects of climate change, and the extreme weather conditions that emerge, several papers discuss its effect on agricultural practices, and which innovations are crucial. One of the paramount factors in agricultural practices, that is heavily affected by excessive precipitation as a result of extreme weather, is soil compaction. We want to assess whether climate forecasts can help farmers reduce the impacts of soil compaction, and by doing so, create a higher sense of predictability in future production. Hence, we create a model simulating how extreme weather conditions impact the soil moisture levels throughout potato production. In the simulation model, we use historical precipitation data from the driest year (2018), and the wettest year (2005) in Norway since 1993. Our model is simplified, but, taking into account the complexity of the hydrologic cycle and its effects on soil moisture levels, we are able to provide a basic framework of the moisture levels throughout the potato production process. We implement optimal and critical moisture levels in the simulation, in order to see whether we are able to limit the amount of operations relying on heavy machinery, when the soil is too wet. Overall, the results show that heavy precipitation does have a substantial impact on soil moisture levels, and how they effect soil compression. With future extreme weather conditions causing heavy rainfall, precipitation is one of the largest moments of insecurity for farmers, and their agricultural practices. A model with focus on soil moisture levels, and how to combat soil compression, could decrease the sense of uncertainty for farmers around the globe. An assessment of the literature shows that the negative effects of soil compaction in agricultural processes are prevalent. However, as there is a limited amount of studies that model soil compaction, we suggest that further research is necessary to counteract the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change, and the negative effects originating from soil compaction.