Adapting to the challenges presented by climate change can reduce the negative effects on agriculture practices and presents farmers and other land managers the chance to capitalise on new business opportunities.
"Climate change is a business and economic risk in this region," North East Catchment Management Authority project manager, Lachlan Campbell said.
Climate change is a business and economic risk in this region.Lachlan Campbell
"We have been hearing first hand from industry how the climate has already changed and how the industry is beginning to adapt practices and make different business decisions."
A new Australian government initiative Embedding climate change in agriculture aims to help industry map impacts caused by climate change and identify solutions that give landholders practical strategies for managing change. Funding is provided through the Australian government's National Landcare Program.
"Embedding climate adaptation in agricultural practice will support farmers to plan ahead and assist to deliver a strategy for a long-term sustainable farming system," said Mr Campbell.
Local cherry farmers Bill and Lois Hotson commented, "Adaptation of technology and scale of operation are important. We need to produce better product at lower cost. Water availability for stock, domestic and irrigated agriculture is critical to sustainability into the future."
In North East Victoria the program, co-ordinated by the North East CMA in conjunction with local consultancy Natural Decisions, will develop a predictive model for likely climate scenarios in the region bench-marked against current climatic data. Interpreting the effects these scenarios may have on the agricultural industry will inform the development of an adaptation plan for the North East.
Mr Campbell advised that sector specific workshops to support the development of the predictive model for likely climate scenarios were held throughout March with many interested landholders participating.
"This project builds on what has been learnt on other projects around the state. The more we can involve industry and local government in the design and development of the project, the better the outcomes for all," Mr Campbell said.
"An 'all of industry' briefing is planned for August, and I encourage anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the effects of climate change and adapting to new opportunities not to miss this conference. Landholders can find details on the North East CMA website."
Further information: Lachlan Campbell 1300 216 513 or Direct: 02 6043 7672, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contributed by the North East Catchment Management Authority