Closing the loop by using adaptive capacity workshops - Kerry Bridle


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  • A three year national project funded by DAFF Undertaken across 5 states Workshops within each state and overarching adaptive capacity workshops for the whole project This talk will present information gathered from the workshops on the farmers’ perceptions of their ability to adapt to climate change
  • 2009 1171 broadacre (crop/livestock) farmers in Tas, 06=07 Worth more than 3% GSP $625 mill over $2 bill with seafood and wine and processing Farm dependent economy nearly 16% of GSP 24% of land area Took this information to 5 workshops organised by 4 existing farmer groups and 1 landcare group Mean number of farmers at each workshop = 8 Given climate overview Modelled outputs for crops and pastures grown in the region And then asked 3 questions How do you currently manage seasonal climate variability Based on future trends, what might you do in the future What might prevent you from adapting? Workshop format
  • Crops and pastures grown in the regions… Highlights diversity but also external forces eg Focus on vegetables in N (near processing plant) Focus on essential oils in S (near processing plant)
  • Climate projections small change to annual rainfall +- 5-10% But more significant is change to seasonal rainfall Some regions rely on seasonal rain to set up feedbase for the year (pastures) t In autumn to carry stock through winter and in winter/spring to carry stock through summer C3 based system – implications for pastures – some farmers already abandoned rye grass for drought tolerant sp under no iirrigation
  • Potential to extend growing season But will impact on varieties (wine grapes) Fewer frosts with shorter ‘’high risk’ season (early spring rather than through to dec) Extreme events will still happen For Tas generally is a bonus
  • See division between wet and dry regions… Had 3-4 years of drought then 2 wet springs Cover range of adaptation (eg new cultivars, changes to harvesting times) to transformation (change crops, increase diversification?) But comment about COP – important – was difficult to separate cc adaptations from current adaptations because financial considerations were important (particularly in southern regions with limited access to irrigation)
  • Tas farming highly variable Dependent in the main on water supply, geographic location, soil types and geomorphology Extensive grazing on ‘run’ country – native based systems – hillslopes/shallow rocky soils Cropping on flatter country … . Recent change – irrigation infrastructure continuing to be developed Shift from wool producing to wool/meat sheep More cropping inc. fodder cropping enabled by irrigation… 1171 broadacre/mixed farming in Tas 2009 ABARE 24% of the state’s land 3.2% of Gross State Product
  • Closing the loop by using adaptive capacity workshops - Kerry Bridle

    1. 1. Closing the loop: assessing adaptive capacity on farms for potential changes to farming enterprises under climate change Kerry Bridle 1,2 , Peter Brown 1 , Shaun Lisson 1 , David Parsons 2 , Neil MacLeod 1 1 CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences 2 Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research [email_address]
    2. 2. <ul><li>Developing climate change adaptation strategies for the mixed crop-livestock farming systems of Tasmania </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>to evaluate the likely regional on-farm impacts of climate change and variability </li></ul><ul><li>to identify the costs and benefits of regional on-farm climate change adaptation options and barriers to adoption </li></ul><ul><li>to increase knowledge and awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation options </li></ul>Background
    3. 3. Region Enterprise focus Mean annual rainfall (mm) Sassafras (300-800 ha) Vegetable crops > 800 Cressy (Longford workshop , 500-2700 ha) Broadacre crops/ Intensive grazing 600-800 Central Midlands (Oatlands workshop, 400-7400 ha) Extensive grazing/ Broadacre crops 450-600 Upper Derwent Valley (Hamilton workshop, 250-2400 ha) Extensive grazing/ Broadacre crops 450-600 Coal Valley (Richmond workshop, 43-1700 ha) Broadacre crops/ Ex+Intensive grazing 450-600
    4. 5. Projected % change in annual and seasonal rainfall 1961-1990 to 2071-2100, mean of downscaled-GCMs, A2 emissions scenario Winter Autumn Spring Annual Summer Information supplied by Greg Holz ACE CRC [email_address] Greg Holz speaking - Thurs pm
    5. 6. Projected number of days less than 2°C year -1 (i and ii) 1961-1990 (left) and 2071-2100 (right), mean of downscaled-GCMs, A2 emissions scenario Projected decrease in number of frosts during the growing season
    6. 7. Q1) How do you currently manage seasonal climatic variability? Crops Pastures Whole farm Wet seasons Mitigate against water-logging (2/5) e.g. raised beds, underground drainage Flexible crop rotations (2/5) Wet seasons Move stock to dry land (2/5) On and off farm income sources (2/5) Dry seasons Irrigation from a variety of sources (3/5) Fodder crops/dual purpose crops (3/5) Dry Seasons Destock (4/5) Change livestock mix (e.g. from cattle to sheep) (3/5) Irrigate pastures (2/5) Drought tolerant pastures (1/5) Q2) Based on future trends, how might you respond differently in the future? Crops Pastures Whole farm New cultivars (3/5) Changes to sowing/harvesting times (4/5) Change crops (2/5) New technology (2/5) Change to stock management e.g. lambing times (3/5) Plant fodder crops (2/5) No real change to current activities (4/5) Increase diversification on farm (2/5) Cost of production/land price will determine what is done (2/5)
    7. 8. Rural Livelihoods Analysis ( Nelson et al . 2010a,b ) Capital Examples Human skills, health and education Social family, community and other social networks and services Natural productivity of land, water and biological resources Physical infrastructure, equipment and breeding resources Financial access to income, savings and credit
    8. 9. Adaptive capacity <ul><li>North </li></ul><ul><li>Medium sized mixed farming system </li></ul><ul><li>Generally positive – can adapt to CC </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Irrigation, proximity to urban areas, off-farm income, social networks, access to markets and processing plants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some constraints: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited by access to information, cost of land, young farmers and terms of trade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>South </li></ul><ul><li>Small-medium mixed farming system </li></ul><ul><li>Lost confidence in farming </li></ul><ul><li>Few opportunities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced frost risk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of constraints: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of funds to implement change, unsupported, “not on a level playing field”, demise of rural communities, lack of processing plants, lack of irrigation in some areas </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Northern Midlands document Capital Main factors Adaptive capacity workshops Regional workshops/ Barriers to adaptation Human N – 2 S – 1.8 Age of farmers Constraining Mean age of farmers is increasing, little to attract young people to farming and expensive to buy in to farming Labour costs and availability/ Age of farmers (4/5) The mindset and perceived risk of individual farmers (3/5) Social N – 3.3 S – 1. Importance placed on availability of services Big difference in the role of community and sense of isolation felt. Rely on family for support but not there if children are away at school. Government legislation (4/5) Lack of research and extension (3/5) Natural N – 3.3 S – 3.3 Climate Water availability Enabling Good in N, poor in S – cost of irrigation water prohibitive Physical N – 3.4 S – 2.6 Plant breeding Niche markets Generally enabling apart from water infrastructure in South Water availability (2/5) Financial N – 2.2 S – 1.3 Cost of production Terms of trade Constraining for both regions Land prices are of concern in the N while access to credit is of concern in the S Cost of production/return on investment (4/5) Market demand (3/5) Land use change (2/5)
    10. 11. Incremental vs. transformative change
    11. 12. Change enterprise mix Change grazing and pasture management Reduce tillage Trial low input systems Invest in irrigation Direct marketing of niche products
    12. 13. Adaptation in the future State and Federal policy has addressed constraints relating to physical capital (irrigation infrastructure), but issues around human, financial, and social capital, including the desire to stay on the land, will ultimately determine what adaptation strategies are adopted. Financial concerns, including costs of production and land use change are more important (urgent) in driving on-farm adaptation than climate change. The profitability of farming needs to be addressed through the market place to enable farmers to diversify and more importantly to attract young people to farming. Extension services are lacking, particularly given perceived high risk adaptation strategies. Farmers will need external support to help reduce the ‘risk’ of changing enterprise mix. What is the role of LGA’s, CMA’s, State and Federal Government in assisting farmers to continue to produce food and fibre?
    13. 14. Acknowledgements Many thanks to the collaborating farmers and the farmer network conveners: Geoff Dean TIAR/SFS; Sophie Folder Petra Novak, Rebecca Clarkeson (Serve-Ag); Steven Joyce (NRM South-Upper Derwent Landacre Group); and Adrian James and James McKee (NRM North), for their roles in contributing to the workshops. Thanks also to the national project leader Steven Crimp (CSIRO)