Adapting agriculture to climate change: implications for food producers and food security

Thread: Adaptation by sectors

Parallel Session 1.3.2 | 2.00pm – 3.30pm | 29th June 2010
Parallel Session 2.3.2 | 11.00am – 12.30pm | 30th June 2010

Poster Session 1.6 | 6.15pm – 7.30pm | 29th June 2010


  • Mark Howden CSIRO, Australia
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies & Columbia University, USA

Climate is a major driver of agriculture, influencing the choice of production system, yield potential and variability, product quality, what areas are cropped, what soil types are preferred, the management systems and technologies used, input costs, product prices and natural-resource management. Consequently as the climate changes, there are likely to be systemic changes in agricultural production and consequently on food security. There will likely be a wide range of adaptations that are implemented to offset risks and use opportunities arising from these changes. These adaptations range from farm-level adjustments to large-scale policy changes.
This session will explore adaptations of agriculture to climate change, including:

  1. Synthesis of implications of climate change for food security
  2. Measuring and building adaptive capacity in agriculture
  3. Showcasing agricultural adaptation technologies
  4. Adoption paths (costs, benefits, barriers, limits)
  5. Impacts of extremes vs means
  6. Successful case studies of adaptations (including to impacts of recent climate changes and also policy examples)
  7. Integration of traditional knowledge and science for agricultural adaptation

Abstracts for Speakers Session 1:

Adjusting risk management for a changing climate: Experiences with policy makers, dryland farmers and the wine grape industry in South Australia» Climate Change Adaptation & mitigation in Agricultural Societies – A case study in Bundala village, Hambantota, Sri Lanka» Sustainable adaptation in English agriculture» Using general System Theory to understand how farmers manage variability» Adaptation to and impacts of climate change on uk agricultural sectors» Learning from case studies of Australian agriculture adapting to climate change: understanding transformation and transition dynamics» PHOTOS: Session 1.3»

Abstracts for Speakers Session 2:

The challenges of agricultural production in a future variable and changing climate» Traits and technologies to design crop breeding systems for climate change» Climate Change Impacts on Chilean Agriculture: Estimating sectorial adaptation based on changes of productivity and land allocation, under two Climate Change scenarios» Adapting to climate change in broad-acre irrigated farming systems – Case studies from the Riverina region of South East Australia» A risk management framework for assessing climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, grant Stone, Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, Australia» Adaptation measures to Climate Change»
PHOTOS: Session 2.3»

Abstract for Posters:

CO2/ heat fluxes in rice fields: Comparative assessment of flooded and non-flooded fields in the Philippines» Grassgro indicates that erosion risk drives adaptation of southern tablelands grazing farms to projected climate change» The value of extension in adaptation: a Victorian case study, graeme Anderson, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Australia (Presented by Chris Gerbing)» A Synthesis of Practice and Theory: Enhancing Agriculture's Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change» Response to elevation CO2 of various genotypes differing in tillering, WSC accumulation, transpiration efficiency and early vigour» Assessing the adaptive capacity of Tasmanian producers to climate change» Limits and opportunities for adaptation of forest and livestock-based livelihoods in Northern mali: Perceptions, levels, and strategies» Predicting climate change impacts on the toxicity and yield of a tropical root crop: cassava» Protection from crop diseases for food security in future climates» Grains Best management Practice for managing Climate Variability and Climate Change» Australian Agriculture: adaptations to climate change» Adapting pasture-based dairy systems to future climates» Historical trends in fruit tree chilling in Australia» Impact of climate change on wheat yields in Western Australia. Will wheat production be more risky in the future?» Food security in the future may be compromised by lower nutritional value and increased toxicity of crop plants.» A New Paddy Planting System to mitigate methane gas Emission» Opinions about climate change and adaptation: A study using Q methodology to investigate the views of stakeholders in the livestock industry» Modeling interannual variation of crop productivity: Towards global crop forecasting» Modeling rice cropping schedules in the Vietnam mekong delta for adapting to changes in flooding, salinity intrusion and monsoon rains» Facilitated social learning experiences are important for sustainable land-use practice change» Toward the synthesis of implications of climate change for regional food security: modelling approach and a case study» An integrative approach to understanding the pest and disease threats to agricultural biosecurity under future climates» Climate change effects on winter chill for temperate fruit and nut trees around the world» Comparison of the Potential Impacts of Changes in mean and in Climate Variability on Wheat Production Systems» Impacts of ENSO on rice production in China» Enhancement of the gRAZPLAN grazing systems models for climate change adaptation studies» Assessing potential impacts of climate change on berry quality for major wine grape varieties» Trees on farms: Tackling the triple challenge of mitigation, adaptation and food security» Optimal phenological development for spring wheat across Victoria under present and possible future climates» Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for the mixed crop-livestock farming systems of Tasmania» A modelling framework to project future pathogenic disease scenarios in wheat cropping systems under climate change.» Applying the farm scale system model APSFarm to explore adaptation options available to irrigated grain-cotton farming systems» Transforming Australia's peanut value chains to adapt to future climates» Climate change and irrigated agriculture: impacts and adaptation strategies in the Rio Segundo basin, Argentina» Attribution of earlier winegrape ripening in the Southern hemisphere: analysis of vintage records» Rapid assessment of climate change uncertainty in evaluations of adaptation options» Greater use of kangaroos to produce low-emission meat and adapt to climate change on the rangelands»
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P Hayman
South Australian Research and Development Institute, Australia

Predictions are not instructions that people simply follow to make better decisions. They are pieces of an intricate puzzle that may sometimes contribute to improved decisions. Daniel Sarewitz. Nature 463: 2010

This paper describes lessons from projects with policy makers, dryland farmers and wine grape growers in South Australia from 2004 to the present. Each project started with requests for detailed downscaled climate change projections and developed into more complex conversations about risk management. The framework for risk management from the Australian New Zealand Standard and recommended by the Australian Department of Climate Change has a number of logical steps: Establish the context, identify, analyse, and evaluate the risks before treating the risk. Early in this process is the recommendation to get climate change projections. This is a reasonable request whereby decision makers say “if you can’t tell me what the climate will be like in the future, how can you expect us to plan adaptation strategies?”There is an inevitable mismatch between the level of spatial and temporal precision that decision makers want and that delivered by climate science. This is especially the case for precipitation and stream flow where the envelope of future projections is wide, as is the envelope of past experience due to annual and decadal variability. For the duration of the projects described in this paper, southern Australia was in an extended drought which was consistent with climate change projections, However in 2009 grain growers in one of the study regions had one of their wettest seasons on record. Appropriate practice changes for a constant drought may be depressing but relatively straightforward – shift from cropping to low input, low output extensive grazing. It is much more challenging to consider the appropriate practices that are resilient to the poor seasons (which are expected more often) but still able to respond to the rarer good season. However, we found smart thinking about flexibility, delaying key decisions and keeping options open.

While it is possible to produce high resolution climate maps of South Australian regions in 2030, 2050 and 2070, these bring to mind Monmonier’s text “How to Lie with Maps” where he reminds us that any map is single representation of a number of possible maps that could have been produced for the same situation. If this is true of maps of current climate, it is even truer of maps of future climate. The probabilistic approach in the Climate Change in Australia report (CSIRO and BoM 2007) usefully conveys that there are 9 maps of the future depending on three levels of emission and model uncertainty

Many (but not all) of the participants concluded that detailed climate change projections were “nice to have, but not essential to the process of planning for a warmer and water constrained future”. Some participants noted that detailed projections of the future could be a liability, a form of mal-adaptation where rather than planning for a range of futures attention was focussed on a single outcome.
The paper concludes that risk management is a sensible basis to discuss behaviour change required for adapting to climate change. Rural industries and policy makers are highly aware of risks associated with climate variability (droughts, floods and associated natural causes such as El Nino). Unlike most in urban communities there is rapid feedback from the climate to their livelihoods. This lived experience and knowledge of climate variability can be a barrier to discussion of climate change where people dismiss the reality or the threat of climate change with an argument that as they can cope with variability, climate change will be less of a problem. There is a paradox whereby climate change starts to erode the value of local knowledge about climate, yet this local knowledge is perhaps the greatest asset for the coming decades. The paper shows an approach that acknowledges and respects the way people are practicing risk management in the current climate and how they might adjust it in a changing climate.

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Parabhath Patabendi
Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has experienced a number of tragic disasters including Tsunami, Floods, Landslides, Cyclones, Droughts, Wind storms and Coastal erosion in recent years and regarded as a multi hazard country. Bundala village is situated 300 km away from Colombo towards Southern province belongs to the DL 5 Agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka, indicating the rainfall scarcity of the area. Total annual dependable rainfall is as low as 650 mm. These low rainfalls and more severe seasonal droughts collectively cause more evaporative demand resulting high salt accumulation on land surface. The major constraint to agriculture in this region is the low effective rainfall for a greater part of the year. Minor irrigation schemes go dry during long dry period due to lack of management of the limited water resource available in the area. Villages can recall their memories of droughts for last 100 years. The drought hit in 1914 caused scarcity of food and water, problem of dust and spread of diseases. Two year drought prevailed in 1956 and 1957 affected about 250 families with shortage of food and water and diseases. An extent of 70 – 80 acres of paddy and about 100 acres of rain fed crops was entirely destroyed in the village by this drought. Another drought with somewhat similar consequences prevailed in 1965 – 1966. many could remember the recent droughts occurred in 2001, 2004 and 2007. A research study carried out using the participatory action research methodology to assess villager’s adaptability and mitigation practices in the prevailing condition took place. It was found that 90% of the village population has adapted alternative agricultural practices as a measurement of adaptation. There are several mitigation initiatives they have taken as a community.

This paper analyses the finding of the study and gives conclusion and recommendations for further research.

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N Macgregor, J Letts, M Broadmeadow, C Cowan, E Bensaude, I Doves, J Tipton and I Pickard
Natural England, United Kingdom
Environment Agency, United Kingdom
Forestry Commission England, United Kingdom
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom

Agriculture accounts for approximately three quarters of land in England. Most English landscapes, even the ones people think of as being the most ‘natural’, have been shaped by agricultural or other human land management activity to some extent, often significantly. This agricultural land supports not just the production of food but the provision of a much wider range of environmental services that benefit society.

Services provided by agricultural land are likely to be sensitive to changes in climate. They could be affected directly as a consequence of climatic changes themselves, or indirectly as a result of human activity in response to climate change, and this will bring both threats and opportunities. Effects of climate change are also likely to interact with existing and future non-climate pressures on agricultural systems. At the same time, the services provided by agricultural land are likely to become increasingly important to buffer society from the effects of climate change, both by supporting continued agricultural production and therefore underpinning future food security, and by providing important environmental regulation functions such as flood alleviation, an important consideration in a small crowded country.

Because of the range of services agricultural land provides, and their vulnerability to climate change, adaptation will be essential. Successful adaptation for agricultural systems, to maintain or increase their full range of services, is likely to be one of the most important parts of our overall adaptation effort.

This paper will discuss a framework for sustainable adaptation we are developing for English agricultural systems, but with wider applicability for other systems. The framework is based on first considering the full range of benefits the system can provide to society, in order to establish objectives for adaptation against which both the consequences of climate change and the sustainability of possible adaptation actions can be evaluated. The rationale for this approach is the knowledge that we will need to develop sustainable adaptation solutions to address multiple objectives, and that we will need to accommodate inevitable change while trying to maintain the value of agricultural (and other) systems and the benefits they provide.

We identified 15 desired outcomes, encompassing the key benefits that appropriate use and management of agricultural land in England can provide to society; these cover biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resources, agricultural productivity, culture and recreation, and agricultural communities and livelihoods.

We identified a wide range of direct consequences of climate change for these outcomes. We then identified over 100 specific actions land managers could take to address the consequences, either to reduce vulnerability to threats or to seize opportunities. To assess the sustainability of the different actions and identify risks of maladaptation, and to consider some of the indirect consequences of climate change, we evaluated the likely effect of each action on each of the 15 outcomes. This enabled us to identify an initial set of about 50 priority adaptation actions, which would address important or multiple consequences of climate change, and/or have multiple benefits against desired outcomes.

These priority adaptation actions range from planning and monitoring, to changing or diversifying crop types, to land management activities that will create important ‘green infrastructure’, to new technology, to improved management of water, fertiliser and pesticides, livestock and crops. This illustrates that, to adapt successfully, land managers collectively will need to carry out a wide range of activities, tailored to local circumstances.

It is clear that adaptation for agriculture cannot be condensed to a single issue or a single solution.

While significant changes to agricultural landscapes and systems appear inevitable in the long term, requiring eventual ‘transformative adaptation’, we need to start with flexible, incremental steps. Many of the priority adaptation actions we have identified correspond to existing good environmental and agricultural management practices, providing a clear starting point for action.

We will outline the results of this work and some emerging conclusions, and discuss some of the issues and challenges facing policy makers and decision makers, who need to balance an increasingly large number of demands on agricultural land.

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L Cowan1 and G Kaine
Practice Change Research, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia

Climate change is likely to increase the variability in environmental conditions that Australian primary producers will have to contend with, potentially threatening farm viability. Consequently, to remain viable, primary producers will need to increase their adaptive capacity as climate change progresses. The Australian government has recognised that this will require policy support.

We propose that the key to developing policies that support adaptive capacity in farm systems depends on understanding how farm systems manage environmental variability; and understanding how farm systems can be adapted to manage different degrees of variability while remaining profitable.

In this research we used general systems theory to describe how producers use system regulators, which are an integral part of their farm systems, to manage variability in the environment. General systems theory suggests there are three types of system regulators; aggregation, control by error and anticipation.

The choice among these is based on two key conditions:
• if enough is known about the cause, timing and extent of variability in the environment to predict when to regulate, and
• which creates greater costs to the farm system – regulating unnecessarily or failing to regulate when it is necessary. We present the management of codling moth as an example of system regulation in agriculture.

We found that adaptation to climate change is likely to require that producers modify the structure of their farm systems by changing the combination of system regulators they use over time. Decisions regarding changes in structure may favour certain types of system regulators over others in three ways.

First, the unpredictable and variable effects of climate change may force producers to use relatively less efficient aggregation regulators over error control and anticipation regulators. This means that the capacity of farm systems to adapt to climate change will be improved by investing in research to maintain the reliability of error control and anticipation regulators which are relatively more efficient. This would involve the identification and development of techniques and technologies that allow farm systems to better anticipate changes in the environmental inputs and to react in a timely manner to those changes.

Second, the capacity of farm systems to adapt to climate change would be improved by investing in the identification and development of techniques and technologies that allow farm systems to better assess changes in the relative costs of different types of regulators.

Third, the attractiveness of new system regulators will depend, in part, on their interaction with other system regulators in the farm system. Consequently consideration of the interactions among system regulators in the setting of priorities for investment in research and extension would be desirable.

We also found that policy measures such as regulation of farming practices, the implementation of market based instruments, the levying of charges, the offering of incentives and financial assistance, infrastructure upgrades and the public provision of extension and emergency services all influence the composition and operation of regulators in farm systems. It follows then that the capacity of farm systems to adapt to climate change will be influenced by such policy measures.

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P R Mills, E Calleja and J Pole
University of Warwick 2Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

UK crop production and the natural environment are vulnerable to changes that will occur through climate change over a relatively short time scale. These changes will provide both constraints and opportunities. Temperature rises in the UK are likely to result in a gradual realignment of zones suitable for production of specific crops. Evidence suggests that there will be a shift of between 200 and 300 kilometres northwards for every one degree increase in temperature. As an example, this would result in the south of England having a similar climate to the Loire Valley in France, by 2060. UK crops and natural environments are likely to change. It has been suggested that novel or unusual species and varieties in the UK such as sweetcorn, sunflowers, soya and maize, could provide opportunities for UK agriculture.

However, farming and environmental management practices will need to adapt to meet these changes. Climate change will affect maturity and harvest dates and have significant impacts on water requirements. The ability of agriculture to adapt to and cope with climate change depends on factors including arable-land and water resources, farming technology, crop varieties adapted to local conditions, access to knowledge, infrastructure, and appropriate knowledge transfer mechanisms.

An Innovation Network was established at the University of Warwick as a vehicle to aid with the identification of potential climate change adaptive activities in the agricultural sector. Use of the Delphi technique for identification of innovations was a key component to the success of this project. The value and limitations of the Delphi technique are critically reviewed.

Further stakeholder engagement was achieved through building consortia to deliver innovative activity. A range of delivery mechanisms for innovative activities were employed which involved up to seventeen organizations. Innovative activities put in place included i) use of differential thermostats to improve the efficiency of grain cooling ii) pack-house cooling and crop storage: a commercial demonstration and economic evaluation of ground sink refrigeration; iii) adapting to changing water availability: demonstrating technology and innovation in agricultural water management; iv) exploring the role of science, policy, and the food chain in identifying opportunities for growing new crops in Britain’s future climate.

The Innovation Network is a classic example of how the process of conception, design and delivery of innovations is an iterative process between stakeholders and success was achieved through interaction of different stakeholders within different disciplines across several organisational boundaries. The outputs of this initiative will be presented in terms of the induced innovation hypothesis and the role of networks in the delivery process.

In addition, an appraisal has been undertaken for the UK strawberry industry as a case study on the impacts of climate change on an agricultural sector within UK production. The UK strawberry industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, in particular a move from open field cultivation to production under protection. Changes in disease incidence have occurred over the last century driven in part by changes in varieties, through pesticide availability and also as a consequence of Government plant health policy decisions. In addition to this temporal variation, it is also apparent that disease incidence varies between regions of the UK. The UK Climate Impacts Program 09 scenarios have been used to determine probabilistic projections for three pathogens in strawberry growing regions of the UK for 2020 and 2080. These projections suggest that diseases of strawberry will present different risks in different regions over these time periods. Based on these projections, detailed grower interviews have been conducted to determine awareness of risks and to assess potential consequences and responses. There is evidence that the sector is already adapting to climate change with measures being put in place such as reservoir construction and increased use of misters on crops grown under protection. Evidence is also presented on geographical variation in the response to risks across the UK.

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E Jakku, S Park, N Marshall, A Dowd and M Howden
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Brisbane, Australia
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Canberra, Australia
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Townsville, Australia
CSIRO Exploration and Mining and Climate Adaptation Flagship, Brisbane, Australia

The challenge of adapting agriculture to climate change will require primary industries to make transformative changes as well as incremental adaptations. Most of the adaptation strategies that are being developed for primary industries to respond to climate change are aimed at informing tactical, short term decisions and producing incremental change. However, it is unlikely that this suite of adaptation actions alone will completely cover the adaptations needed for sustainable farming, fisheries, forestry and mining in the long-term. To address this gap in knowledge and practice, we propose a conceptual framework for understanding the process of transformation in the context of agriculture adapting to climate change, using knowledge from the transition, adaptation and transformation science literature. Our framework draws on the theory of transitions and transition management, which conceptualises transitions as a process of societal change that occurs through a cycle of four clusters of transition activities. We combine this transition management cycle with four key questions for understanding the process of adaptation (who or what adapts; what do they adapt to and why; what impacts result; and how well do they adapt?), to provide a better understanding of the dynamics of transformative adaptation and offer insights into the opportunities and limitations for transforming agriculture in the face of climate change.

This conceptual framework is being validated and refined through a five-year longitudinal study, using multiple case studies from a range of Australian primary industries and communities that are transforming in response to climate change. These case studies include examples of transformation from the following industries: peanuts, rice, wine, grazing, fisheries and mining; as well as three community level case studies across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Case studies are designed to focus on the conditions and processes that drive these primary industries and communities to make significant, transformative shifts in their practices in order to adapt to climate change. This longitudinal study draws on a mix of qualitative and quantitative research methods, stakeholder participation and a range of relevant theoretical approaches, to identify and synthesise key lessons from our multiple case studies. We present preliminary findings from the first case study of our series, namely the Peanut Company of Australia’s (PCA) decision to expand its peanut production systems beyond its traditional farming areas, through the development of a new supply option in the Northern Territory. We focus on the key characteristics of the planning and reorganisation phases of this transformation, as identified by the conceptual framework. In doing so, we determine the social features of, and influences on, the PCA’s transformation process: the conditions needed to successfully plan, reorganise and manage the impacts of this transition. The lessons learned from our case studies will help inform policy developers and decision-makers at a range of levels who are faced with adapting agricultural industries to climate change.

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S Crimp, A Laing, D Gaydon1, M Howden and P Brown
CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia

Global and regional records provide overwhelming evidence of systematic change in the earth’s climate over the past century. There is growing evidence that these changes are linked to both human activities and natural variability, with more recent changes increasingly in response to growth in global greenhouse gas emissions. In Australia (as with other countries around the world), current patterns of climate change (particularly temperature but also rainfall) share consistent trajectories with patterns of climate change projected by Global Climate Models (GCMs). In some cases the rate of change in temperature and rainfall already exceeds worst-cast scenarios for the near future.

History has demonstrated that natural resource-based industries, such as agriculture, are particularly sensitive to climate with yields highly responsive to climate variations. For this reason a strong incentive exists to enhance the adaptive capacity of agricultural systems in order to deal with further changes expected as a result of climate change.

The current farming environment is complex, characterised by market risk, increasing input costs, legislative change, significant variation in resource condition and availability of new technologies. Climate change, particularly changes in variability and extremes, will add further complexity, making agricultural production an even more challenging endeavour. Whilst the difficulties associated with agricultural production increase, there are many opportunities to modify and change current management practises to reduce these impacts. Implementation of these modified management options are likely to have substantial benefits under moderate climate change.

Losses of up to 5% of GDP by 2050 have been estimated in response to climate change. Some analyses suggest that adaptation may reduce these losses by half. In a study of the benefits of adaption on Australia’s wheat industry, Howden and Crimp (2005) assessed that value of simple agronomic adaptation options (optimal cultivar and sowing window selection) could result in increased national farm-gate income by an average of between $150M and $500M per annum by 2070. However, there are limits to the effectiveness of incremental adaptation under more severe climate change. Under these conditions greater diversification of production systems and livelihoods will be required.

Understanding which adaptation options to pursue in response to climate change remains a challenging exercise. This is largely due to the uncertainty associated with regional projections of climate change as well as the limited scope (i.e. largely simulation studies) for validating the effectiveness of adaptation.

Recent research on adaptation has followed a variety of paths; with the main focus on the evaluation of the benefits from general adaptation options defined by the researchers. This past research has identified in broad terms the following adaptation options for cropping systems:
• Altering inputs such as varieties/species to suit prevailing climate conditions;
• Wider use of technologies to ‘harvest’ water, conserve soil moisture (e.g., crop residue retention), and use and transport water more effectively where rainfall decreases;
• Altering the timing or location of cropping activities;
• Diversifying income through altering integration with other farming activities such as livestock raising; • Improving the effectiveness of pest, disease, and weed management practices; and
• Using climate forecasting to reduce production risk.
In this paper we will demonstrate how a participatory approach (i.e. working with farmers, integrating their knowledge and including their assessments of costs, benefits, practicalities and constraints) to assessing and evaluating effective adaption options provides a more effective framework of analysis compared with the more traditional generalised approaches. We will show how this approach allows the synthesis of a typology of responses which includes the effectiveness of adaptation options in terms of production and economic returns and the synergies and constraints to implementation.

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S C Chapman, M F Dreccer, K Chenu, D Jordan, G McLean, GL Hammer, M Bourgault, S Milroy, J A Palta-Paz, K B Wockner and B Zheng
CSIRO Plant Industry/Climate Adaptation Flagship, Australia
DEEDI, Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries, Australia
School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia

The year 2050 is only two to five full cycles of plant breeding from now. From the time a new challenge has been identified, new cultivars take 3 to 20 years to be developed. Averaged across many crops, environments and traits, plant breeding in the last century has consistently delivered productivity improvements of about 1 to 4% per year. These improvements are largely in the context of a slowly-changing set of target environments. Radical changes in the occurrence of environmental stresses (e.g. droughts), and increases in pest and disease pressure can greatly impact on yields at farm and regional levels. Increased variability in climate will also directly reduce the efficiency with which breeders can identify adapted lines, i.e. the ranking of varieties becomes confounded by effects of management, season and location, known as Genotype x Environment interaction (GEI).

To deal with increased GEI, our research aims to (1) identify traits and potential germplasm that provide broad adaptation to heat, drought and elevated CO2; (2) develop high-throughput-methods to screen for these traits and (3) apply this knowledge to design improved breeding systems that will more efficiently select for adapted germplasm.

Plant breeders have access to a range of genetic resources and many tools to combine the ‘best’ resources together. Breeding programs typically develop pools of parental germplasm that are suited to their geographical target range – from small regions (10s of km2) up to entire countries or ecological zones. When new threats to production arise, breeding programs need to identify new sources of genetic variation, e.g. from the germplasm ‘banks’ of international institutes. For complex traits like drought adaptation, utilising novel sources takes time (usually 10 to 20 years) to be delivered to farmers as new cultivars.

The useful new traits are then combined into existing cultivars that have all the either desirable attributes (e.g. market quality), whether the cultivars are to be conventionally-bred or developed through genetic engineering to utilise ‘single-gene’ traits.

As others have shown, the winter and summer grain crops in Australia will likely experience warmer temperatures, which translate into shorter crop growing seasons. For wheat, in absence of adaptive measures, a temperature increase of up to 2°C during the reproductive period has been calculated to offset the benefit of elevated CO2 levels. In addition, many crop processes are also directly affected by brief episodes of extreme temperatures and water stress when they coincide with the time of flowering, e.g. heat stress in wheat and sorghum can directly disrupt reproductive processes leading to reduced grain number and poorly-filled shrivelled grains. Such stress episodes are anticipated to increase as a result of climate change.
In current research, we are using increased temperature environments in glasshouses and in the field to examine variation among cultivars for adaptive traits. For example, productive crops evaporate water through their leaf stomata (adjustable ‘pores’ that allow water out and CO2 in). We use tools such as far infra-red photography to measure the ‘temperature’ of these crops and to discover which cultivars are best able to stay productive when air temperatures are high. Other experiments are comparing different wheats under various combinations of high temperature, drought and elevated CO2.

The complexity of the breeding process makes it challenging to re-design and improve. Simulation provides the tools to examine opportunities to do this. In previous research, we have combined biophysical simulation models of crop growth with simulation models of the breeding process. This allows us to construct sets of crosses, estimate the growth and yield of new genotypes and identify breeding strategies that can most quickly deliver the new cultivar. The specific advantage of biophysical models is that we can simulate how a cultivar would grow in an existing climate, or in some ‘future’ climate, whatever that may be. Hence, we can determine the impact of future climates on how well breeding programs can deliver new cultivars that are suited for the future production systems.
In this paper, we will demonstrate how traits for adaptation to climate change can be identified and used in selection, and how we can design new breeding programs to efficiently combine these traits into adapted cultivars.

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O Melo, F Santibáñez, F Meza and S Vicuña
Departamento de Economía Agraria, Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile Centro Agrimed, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Universidad de Chile, Chile Centro Interdisciplinario de Cambio Global, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Agriculture in Chile is one of the most important economic sectors, representing a significant proportion of the gross domestic product, mainly due to its participation on exported products, as well as the main source of livelihood of rural families in the country. Because of the strong linkages between climate and crop growth and development, climate change represents a challenging problem, since projected scenarios show increases in temperature coupled with important reductions of precipitation in the areas that currently support most of the agricultural activities of Chile.

This study analyses the consequences of climate change on several agricultural crops of Chile, mainly looking at impacts on crop productivity. Since a reduction of precipitation and changes in seasonality of snowmelt directly impact soil water balance of both rainfed and irrigated agriculture, our study incorporates a restriction in water availability consistent with climate change projections.

Crop productivity was estimated using crop simulation models (SIMPROC-Crop Simulator) fed with downscaled climate change HadCM3 projections of the A2 and B2 scenarios. Crop yield results elucidated the complex regional patterns of projected climate variables, CO2 effects, and agricultural systems. We then used this information to run an econometric allocation model that allowed us to predict future changes in crop surface, based on productivity trends and its economic impacts upon gross income. As a consequence, we are able to evaluate changes in labour demand and the future economic value of this activity. Results represent the future map of Chile’s agricultural sector and provide information about sectorial adaptation from a geographical stand point.

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D Gaydon, D Cattanach, R Houghton, H Meinke and D Rodriguez
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, St Lucia Q 4068, Australia Farmers, Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation Districts, Australia Centre for Cropping Systems Analysis, Wageningen University, Holland Agri-Science Queensland, Toowoomba Q 4350, Australia

Worldwide, there is increasing competition for water resources between agriculture and other sectors, combined with reduced total water availability in many regions. One of the most significant impacts of climate change in Australia’s irrigated Riverina is likely to be on broad-acre irrigation allocations. Over the past decade, these have fallen from historical norms of 100% to average levels below 30%. Studies on future stream-flows under a range of climate change scenarios also point to significant long-term reductions in available irrigation water. It is clear that irrigation farmers in the region must consider both incremental adjustments to practices and tactics, as well as more transformational changes, in adapting to a reduced and more variable future supply of irrigation water.

There are numerous potential strategies an individual farmer might consider when determining how best to use a limited supply of irrigation water on-farm. Options such as full- versus partial-irrigation; changes to agronomic practices such as rotations, residue management, crop species and varieties; changes to proportional sharing of water between winter and summer crops; as well as more transformational changes such as investing in new irrigation technology, or disposing of water on the free market and conducting their entire farming operation for the season (or permanently) as a rain-fed enterprise. All these aspects need to be considered in the context of a warming climate with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

The comparison between these options is complex, as it depends on a range of bio-physical, economic, environmental and social variables, e.g. degree of change in water allocations, farm size, soil types, climate, relative prices (commodity, inputs, and water), and farmer preferences. When analysing complex systems, traditional field-scale methods of farming systems analysis are inadequate to answer questions relating to the sharing of limited resources (eg. water) between competing objectives. In irrigated systems, adaptation options which produce enhanced results at the field level may deliver reduced performance at the whole-farm level. Similarly, adaptation options which result in sub-optimal performance of an individual field can result in enhanced productivity and profitability for the whole farm.

Here we evaluate climate change adaptation options on two irrigated case-study farms from the Riverina region of South Eastern Australia. Participatory engagement with farmers was employed to ensure realism of the adaptation scenarios considered, and systems modelling tools (APSIM) were used to generate new discussable information on the behaviour of these complex systems, facilitating understanding on pathways to achieve more resilient farming systems design. A spectrum of potential water reduction scenarios, cost-price relationships and cropping/irrigation options were examined, with the objectives of: (i) evaluating the benefit of applying more integrative whole farm systems modelling analyses; and (ii) quantifying trade offs between profitability, economic risk, and environmental outcomes for alternative incremental adaptation options, and more transformational changes in the face of climate change.

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B Punsalmaa, B Buyandalai and B Nyamsuren
Water Authority Arvain helhee, NGO Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism

This paper presents findings from the assessment of adaptation measures to climate change in the Mongolia’s livestock sector. Mongolia’s development is highly dependent on pastoralism, and the sector already suffers from impacts of climate variability, particularly due to severe winters and summer droughts. The study recommends several adaptation measures for livestock herding and pasture carrying capacities in Mongolia. These measures focused on increasing livestock productivity, as well as the maintenance of pastures used by the livestock. The arid to semi-arid climate of Mongolia supports extensive grasslands that, while fragile, have sustained pastoral herding for centuries. Mongolia’s pastures are the key natural resource input to livestock production. In recent decades the climate has become warmer and drier. Climate change threatens to reduce the production of forage grasses by this resource and may, in combination with heavy grazing pressures, degrade the land itself. Particularly, the productivity of Mongolia’s pastures has declined 20 to 30 percent. Another observed trend is an increase in the frequency and intensity of climatic extremes such as drought and severe winters, or zud (severe winter). Drought and zud events have caused livestock deaths, hardship for herders and, in some instances, large rural to urban migrations, unemployment, deep poverty and economy wide losses of income. Projections of future climate change indicate that Mongolia will become warmer still, potentially drier in summer and wetter in winter. There is also a threat of even more frequent and intense droughts and zud in the future. Our study of projected climate change finds that the rangelands, livestock herders, and pastoral livelihoods of Mongolia would be strongly impacted. Technical and scientific experts and authorities from local, provincial and national levels, give priority to adaptation strategies that would generate near- term benefits by improving capabilities for managing the extremes of drought and zud and long-term benefits by improving and sustaining pasture yields. Specific measures identified as advancing these broad goals and warranting further consideration include (i) improving pastures by reviving traditional system of seasonal movement of herds, reforestation and increasing vegetation cover to restore degraded pasture, expanding and rehabilitating water supply, and developing cultivated pasture; (ii) strengthening animal biocapacity by modifying grazing schedules, increasing use of supplemental feeds, and increasing feed and pasture reserves; (iii) enhancing rural livelihoods by promoting collective communities to regulate access and use of pasture and water, developing and transferring new technologies, educating and training of herders, establishing rural enterprises, and providing access to credit and insurance; (iv) improving food security by improving and diversifying food production and distribution system; and (v) research and monitoring to develop and improve forecasting and warning systems. Different methods were used to identify adaptation options. These include household survey, focus group discussion, multi-stakeholder workshops, and adaptation screening matrix. Assessing the preference among these options in different sectors is a complicated task for policy/decision makers, since there are multiple problems and objectives to be solved and met. Therefore, a simple approach, or the Screening Matrix of adaptation was used to examine the priority of measures. Adaptation options are qualitatively ranked as high, medium and low against the criteria to indicate the preference. More than 700 herders’ households from 19 aimags were interviewed in order to verify our research and to describe major risks perceived by pastoralist and how they cope with problems caused by climate induced phenomenon. The identified adaptation options have been discussed in three level multi-stakeholder workshops in order to select the potential adaptation options. More than 200 participants attended the workshops, including policy makers, central and local governors, and animal experts such as veterinarians, environmentalist, climatologists and herders.

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M C Alberto1, R, Wassmann
Crop & Environmental Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines Working as GTZ/CIM integrated expert on temporary leave from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

The microclimates and seasonal fluxes of heat, moisture and CO2 were investigated under two different rice environments: flooded and aerobic soil conditions, using the eddy covariance technique during 2008 dry season. The fluxes were correlated with the microclimate prevalent in each location. This study was intended to monitor the environmental impact, in terms of C budget and heat exchange, of shifting from lowland rice production to aerobic rice cultivation as an alternative to maintain crop productivity under water scarcity.

The declining availability and increasing costs of water threaten the traditional way of growing rice under irrigated conditions. Therefore, several water-saving techniques are currently developed to lower the water requirements of the rice crop. One of the promising water-saving technologies comprises shifting from lowland rice production to aerobic rice cultivation. However, large uncertainties exist in predicting the outcomes of these changes with regard to soil health, long- term sustainability and environmental impacts of rice production systems.

Results from 2008 dry season investigation showed that in the aerobic rice field, the mean air temperature in the canopy was about 1% higher while the relative humidity and vapor pressure were about 3.9% and 2.6%, respectively, lower than in the flooded rice field. This accounted for about 15.6% higher vapor pressure deficit in the aerobic rice field over the growing season.

Likewise, the aerobic rice fields had higher sensible heat flux (H) and lower latent heat flux (LE) compared to flooded fields. On seasonal average, aerobic rice fields had 48% more sensible heat flux while flooded rice fields had 20% more latent heat flux. Consequently, the aerobic rice fields had significantly higher Bowen ratio (0.25) than flooded fields (0.14), indicating that a larger proportion of the available net radiation was used for sensible heat transfer or for warming the surrounding air.The total C budget integrated over the cropping period (113 days) showed that the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) in flooded rice fields was about three times higher than in aerobic fields while gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) were 1.5 and 1.2 times higher, respectively. The high GPP of flooded rice ecosystem was very evident because the photosynthetic capacity of lowland rice is naturally large and it is free from environmental stresses from dry air and soil. The Re of flooded rice fields was also relatively high because it was enhanced by the high photosynthetic activities of lowland rice as manifested by larger above-ground plant biomass. The NEE, GPP, and Re values for flooded rice fields were -258, 778, and 521 gC m-2 respectively. For aerobic rice fields, values were -85, 515, and 430 gC m-2 for NEE, GPP, and Re, respectively. The ratio of Re/GPP in flooded fields was 0.67 while it was 0.83 for aerobic rice fields.

The results of this investigation will contribute to a thorough evaluation of alternative water-saving technologies by providing a unique opportunity to understand their environmental impact in terms of C budget and heat exchanges in different rice productions systems.

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D Alcock, P Graham, A Moore, J Lilley and E Zurcher
Industry and Investment NSW, Cooma, NSW, Australia. Industry and Investment NSW, Yass, NSW, Australia. CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

The extent of future climate change cannot be directly measured using conventional observational research methods. Rather the current understanding of climate systems must be embodied in mathematical models in order to project forward on the basis of known trends in climate forcings. Similarly it is impossible to test in the field the impact of climate change on the productivity of grazing systems at a farm scale without also using appropriate pasture growth and grazing systems models. To date impact assessments of climate change on grazing farms have been limited to either specific statements about components of the system or generic interpretations of production trends and associated risks without seeking to quantify the full impact at a farm scale.

The GrassGro grazing system simulation model was used to quantify the impact of climate change on two specific grazing systems located at Bookham and Goulburn on the southern tablelands of NSW. GrassGro uses daily time step weather data as input to a soil water budget and pasture growth model in concert with a grazing animal model. Modelled pasture growth is responsive to atmospheric CO2 concentration. In order to determine the impact of climate change the grazing systems were simulated for the historical weather data from 1970 to 2000 and compared with a simulation of the same system using projected daily weather for thirty years centred on 2030. The projected daily weather data were generated using a novel technique that used comparisons of average projected and historical outputs for a range of Global Circulation Models (GCMs) to estimate the basic parameters of a stochastic weather generator.

Results for the localities studied show that although there was considerable variation between the GCMs, growing season lengths were consistently shorter with the greatest truncation occurring in autumn. Winter pasture growth was enhanced by higher temperatures. Overall these changes in feed supply led to considerable reductions in carrying capacity and profit per hectare. This impact was largely driven

by the inability of the system to maintain target ground cover at present-day stocking rates.

Three SRES emissions scenarios were tested (A1B, A2 and B1). For 2030, there was little difference between scenarios in the impact on the grazing system. The seven years from 2001 to 2007 were also simulated, and it was found that several of these years are analogous to the worst years in the projected 2030 climate. Climate projections suggest, however, that severe drought years such as 2004 may become more frequent with less likelihood of a sequence of higher rainfall years to aid in recovery between them.

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M Bond and P Fitzsimons
Victorian Department of Primary Industries, Australia

This paper contributes to research on the theme of Institutional Adaptation, a part of the Victorian Climate Change Adaptation Program (VCCAP). The research progresses a participatory approach to the development of an Adaptive Capacity Index (ACI). An ACI is a composition of indicators that characterises a region’s capacity to adapt by highlighting societal and geographical variation across space. Research into institutional components of adaptation is an emergent and significant topic due to Victoria’s south-west dairy industry was the focus of this research due to; (1) the south-west region being the focus of VCCAP research, (2) the dairy industry being of significant economic importance to the region, and, (3) the potential vulnerability of the dairy industry to the effects of climate change; namely from projected reductions in rainfall and increased maximum temperatures. Through deliberative workshops with participants both directly and indirectly related to the dairy industry, an industry specific ACI was developed. Two key insights emerged as a consequence of participant observations, surveys and documentary analysis. The first relates to the key outcomes of the workshops and participants perceptions of what contributes to adaptive capacity. The highest ranked and weighted indicators were consistently around themes of education, socioeconomic status, demographic change, community involvement and human well-being. These indicators were capable of being spatially mapped for the whole of Victoria and could be used to target policy intervention.

The second insight derived from reflection on the process, analysis of the data gathered and then a synthesis with current theory on adaptive capacity, to provide an approach government’s could undertake to better engage and facilitate regionally- specific climate change adaptation. Key needs would be to develop a learning-focused, long-term engagement process, where government acts as a facilitator and works alongside regional institutions. The necessity of a long-term-regional engagement process is underpinned by the nature of climate change impacts, which will be locally-specific and will occur over long temporal scales. Furthermore, time will be required to develop trust, ownership and build the capacity to learn through experimentation. This research suggests that a methodology, modelled on an adaptive co-management approach, which combines and builds on the strength of systemic thinking, adaptive management and social learning, could be a possible way forward.

The value of this paper is that it demonstrates an attempt in-practice to measure adaptive capacity and build the capacity of those directly impacted by climate change whilst reflecting on the process to determine a way forward. Such a reflective practice contributes to the body of knowledge on adaptive capacity whilst building the capacity of institutions to learn. This approach is applicable to other natural resource based sectors and/or vulnerable communities as any future application could test the strength of this approach.

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M Bourgault, F Dreccer and S Chapman
CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, Australia 2CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia

Atmospheric CO2 levels have been increasing from about 280 ppm in the pre-industrial era to 379 ppm in 2005 (Tans, 2009); and the majority of the greenhouse gas emission scenarios considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimate that the atmospheric CO2 concentration will not stabilize before at least another hundred years (Bernstein et al., 2007), and the level at which it will stabilize depend heavily on the actions that we undertake in the next 10 to 20 years. Higher CO2 concentrations might stimulate photosynthesis in C3 plants such as wheat, but large variations have been reported in the literature in the response to elevated CO2, and increases in yields in field trials tend to be more modest (around 8% in free-air CO2 enrichment as opposed to 22 to 33% in chambers, Long et al., 2005). Those studies that have looked more closely at the physiological basis for this increase in yield have observed higher tillering (Gifford, 1977; Sionit et al., 1980; Sionit et al, 1981a; Sionit et al., 1981b; Ziska, 2008), higher water use efficiency (Gifford, 1979; Samarakoon et al., 1995), and higher nutrient efficiency (Sionit et al., 1981a; Drake et al., 1997). The objective of my current study is to determine the response to elevated CO2 of 20 genotypes which differ in tillering, WSC accumulation, transpiration efficiency and early vigour.

Our hypothesis is that genetic variability in the response to elevated CO2 does exist in wheat, and that the traits mentioned above are partially responsible for this variability. In addition, as these traits are of considerable interest to current breeding programs, it is important to determine if these traits are still useful in a high CO2 environment.For example, would low tillering / low WSC lines still show low tillering / low WSC accumulation under high CO2? If low tillering lines do maintain low tillering, would they accumulate high levels of WSC, beyond what they currently exhibit, and would this be useful? Would high transpiration efficiency cultivars, such as Drysdale, still have superior performance in dry conditions if elevated CO2 concentration increases transpiration efficiency in all lines?

Two experiments were performed since June 2009. Plants were grown in growth chambers in the CEF with CO2 levels controlled at 420 ppm (ambient) and 700 ppm (elevated), and 24/18°C day/night temperatures. Plants were also grown in the glasshouse compartments with, again, CO2 levels controlled at 420 and 700 ppm and 24/15°C day/night temperatures. A third chamber was included with elevated CO2, and 28/22°C day/night temperatures to evaluate the effects of higher temperatures combined with the elevated CO2. Seeds were selected for homogeneity and seeded four per container in tall columns (10-cm diameter and 100-cm height) filled with the University of California mix C (Chandler et al., 1979), and watered daily with pressure compensated drippers. After establishment, plants were thinned to two per columns: one marked for physiological measurements, the other was used for gene expression analysis. An effort was made to select lines with similar height and time to flowering, as well as lines with similar genetic backgrounds for contrasting trait expression.

The two experiments included detailed characterization of the leaf appearance, tiller development and developmental stage of wheat genotypes. The Haun’s score (Haun, 1973) was evaluated twice a week until flowering, and the number of tillers was recorded at the same time. The Zadok score (Zadok et al., 1974) was also recorded from stem elongation to full flowering. A destructive harvest was also performed in the two controlled environment experiments at flowering, where leaf area and biomass were determined as indicators of wheat growth. Non-destructive measurements of the maximum width and length of the first four leaves were also recorded as an indication of early growth. Water soluble carbohydrate accumulation in stems was also evaluated. During the second experiment, in the glasshouse, photosynthesis and transpiration rates were collected once a week on half of the plants in each of the three chambers with a LICOR 6400 (LICOR Biosciences).

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K Bridle, S Lisson and D Parsons
CSIRO, Australia Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, Australia

A DAFF funded three year research project is investigating climate adaptation strategies for Tasmanian mixed farming systems. A total of 25 case study farmers across five regions will be interviewed to assess current and future risks and opportunities for crop and pasture production using the Climate Futures Tasmania (CFT) climate predictions for Tasmania. The response of producers to projected changes to enterprise mix will be assessed during workshops and in one-on-one interviews. This poster presents findings from introductory workshops focusing on the following questions: How do you [farmers] currently manage seasonal climatic variability?; How might they respond differently in the future?; What might prevent you from adopting future strategies?

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M Brockhaus and H Djoudi
Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia

Adaptation to climate change is a need and a challenge for ecosystems, for human beings and for governance systems. In West Africa, livelihoods depend heavily on forest ecosystem goods and services, often in interplay with agricultural and livestock production systems.

The area in of former Lake Faguibine in Northern Mali has experienced drastic changes in the ecological, social and economic context, ranging from a drying out of a Niger-fed lake system in the 1970s to ongoing political and societal events including rebellion, tenure reform and decentralisation. Forests have emerged in the area and have gained importance as part of local livelihoods.

In 2008, field research in Mali took place at different scales: national (Bamako), meso (Timbuktu and Goundam), and local (Tin Aicha and Ras El Ma). Specific objectives of this case study were to assess vulnerability of forest and livestock-based livelihoods, and to identify needs and priorities for adaptive strategies, under climate and societal change. The assessment used participatory methods and tested and adapted different tools in 8 workshops across levels and genders in the specific context of forest and livestock-based livelihoods and climate change adaptation.

Our results highlighted different perceptions on vulnerability and adaptive strategies. Local representatives and community members perceived mobility as a well-established traditional adaptation strategy to climate variability. In contrast, governmental representatives with more technical background perceived mobility more as a risk than as an adaptive strategy. In this context, power and perceptions in reference to specific paradigms (sedentarisation versus mobility), as well as scale, determine the choice and prioritisation of adaptive strategies. In addition, strong divergences emerged between local representatives and representatives of governmental structures across levels regarding the prioritisation of institutional versus technical adaptation. Local representatives argued that technical improvement without institutional change would increase the already existing power struggles and therefore was likely to lead to maladapted use of forest resources. Governmental actors gave highest priority to technical measures and strategies and did not include the institutional dimension in their scoring of adaptive strategies to reduce vulnerability. This focus on technical aspects became obvious also in the results from semi-structured interviews at the national level.

The research results showed that socio-ecological systems were adapting to climate change in an autonomous way, but long-term resource management planning under climate change was lacking. We can conclude that three preconditions can enhance adaptive capacity and avoided maladaptation:

  1. awareness of and agreement on adaptation objectives due to the different perceptions across scales and groups, by exchanging knowledge about adaptation needs and techniques;
  2. transparency in institutional arrangements regarding rights over forest ecosystem services, by ensuring equity in their access, use and management;
  3. flexibility in the broader legal framework provided at the national level to enable planned adaptation at the local level, by transferring planning authority, and accompanied by measures to empower the local level.

Adaptation, even though inherently local, is determined by broader institutional frameworks and will need shared perceptions of the objectives of climate change adaptation among different levels and diverse stakeholders.

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A Burns, R Gleadow and A Zacarias
Monash University, Australia
National Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique, Mozambique

Cassava (manioc, Manihot esculenta) is the third most important food source in the tropics (after rice and maize), consumed by approximately one billion people, with the greatest per capita daily consumption in African countries. Despite this, little is known about the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations and associated climatic changes on the nutritional quality and yield of cassava. The tuberous roots of cassava are high in starch but low in protein; and the leaves which are a good source of protein and vitamins are also eaten. The roots and leaves of this perennial shrub are also fed to animal stock. Cassava contains cyanogenic glucosides, in all parts of the plant, which break down to release toxic hydrogen cyanide gas. Cases of cyanide poisoning from consumption of high cyanide varieties of cassava have been associated with epidemics of the permanent paralysing disease konzo (which particularly affects children and women of child-bearing-age), and endemic tropical ataxic neuropathy and goitre. Outbreaks of konzo are more common during agricultural crises caused by drought and war. In drought, the cyanogen concentration in cassava increases; while in war, people turn to high cyanide cassava, and often inadequately process it. Any change in the nutritional quality of cassava has implications for human health and necessitates improvements in post-harvest processing of the cyanogenic roots. Building on existing cassava research and breeding programs in Mozambique, we are studying the interactive effects of drought, temperature and soil nutrient availability on the total cyanide content and yield of cassava.

Using climate models of southern Africa, we are creating a framework to facilitate predictions for the future nutritional value and productivity of cassava as a staple crop. Mozambique is expected to become drier and warmer in the future, leading to more incidences of drought. By correlating the concentrations of cyanogens and yield of cassava with environmental conditions such as water and nutrient availability and temperature, across a latitudinal gradient in Mozambique, we will be able to make future projections of the impacts of these aspects of climate change on the nutritional value and productivity of cassava. Adaptation strategies to avoid cyanide poisoning from cassava in the future could include: development and implementation of low-cyanide, high-yielding and pest-resistant varieties of cassava; improved processing of cassava and its products; and diversification of the diet of cassava-dependent communities.

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S Chakraborty, P Trebicki, G Hollaway, A Freeman, G Fitzgerald and J Luck
CSIRO Plant Industry, Queensland Bioscience Precinct 306 Carmody Road, Queensland, Australia
DPI Horsham, Private Bag 260, Horsham, Victoria, Australia
Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Private Mail Bag 15 Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre and
CRC for National Plant, Biosecurity Innovation Centre, University of Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia

Many assessments of the effects of climate change on food security indicate that climate and allied socio-economic changes may affect the availability, stability, utilization and access to food across vulnerable regions over time. These projections however, fail to include potential crop losses due to pest and diseases even though in the past, plant disease epidemics have resulted in major famines eg. potato late blight in Ireland and they continue to affect the quality and quantity of food and fibre.

The likely impacts of climate change to pests and diseases include changes in geographical distribution, host-pathogen physiology and potentially an accelerated pathogen evolution from increased population size. These changes have implications for the management of endemic diseases and biosecurity risks from exotic pathogens such as the new wheat stem rust strain UG99. However, from the research to date, there has been little consideration given to pre-emptive strategies that may be required to manage plant diseases under a changing climate. For instance, whether the use of disease resistant varieties would offer effective protection against a target pathogen under increased atmospheric CO2 levels or whether there is a need to develop and deploy new management strategies such as early planting dates with increasing temperature, have never been addressed. For trash-borne pathogens, all management options will have to cope with large increases in inoculum load due to increased size of crop canopy and biomass. Crop varieties and farming systems necessary to disease-proof crops have not been developed with adaptation to future climates in mind.

In 2007, a free air CO2 enrichment facility [The Australian Grains (AG) FACE] was established at Horsham, Victoria, to generate data on the response of wheat crops to elevated CO2 under different temperature and water conditions. A small area in the AGFACE was allocated in 2007 and 2008 to study life cycle of Fusarium pseudograminearum (FP) causing crown rot and Puccinia striiformis (PS) causing stripe rust. Additionally, the epidemiology of Barley yellow dwarf virus and physiology of its main vector was investigated. A summary of findings from this work is presented in this paper. Other research on potato late blight being initiated in three countries under a newly formed network is also presented to highlight the importance of appropriate forums to improve communication.

Inoculum production by FP in wheat stubble, determined from fungal biomass, and crown rot severity generally increased at elevated CO2 while FP retained the same level of saprophytic fitness. As FP is more severe under drought, wheat varieties suffer more damage by rapidly depleting water under elevated CO2, hence the need for further research on varietal performance. The effects of soil moisture and resistant and susceptible wheat varieties were more important than CO2 concentration in influencing the life cycle and severity of wheat infected with PS . Unlike other CO2 chamber studies examining rust fungi, the AGFACE data did not show increased fecundity at elevated CO2. To improve disease management, field studies simulating future climates are vital to base these adaptive management plans on. New approaches can only be derived from an improved knowledge of pathogen biology and host resistance under changing CO2, temperature, water availability and other climatic variables.

In December 2009, an international project was launched through the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change. This network between India, Bangladesh and Australia has been formed to determine how climate change will impact on a single important crop disease impacting on three countries in the Asia Pacific. The project focuses on the potato late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans and aims to assess its historical distribution and disease severity patterns in each country. Projected increasing temperatures and increased intensities of drought and flood will be considered relative to the potential impact of this disease in future climates. With this knowledge, modifications to existing management practices may be necessary such as planting schedules or changes in the potato varieties deployed. Current biosecurity policies used to restrict the movement of fungicide resistant strains of this pathogen may also need to be revised to maintain a secure food supply, particularly for developing countries.

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J F Clewett, J A Huggins, N Murray, R Collins and D Hickey
Agroclim Australia, Highfields, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia
Queensland Government, Dept Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
Agforce Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4000, Australia
Morgan Rural Tech, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia

The Grains ‘Best Management Practice’ (BMP) program for Australia’s Northern Grains Region is a voluntary, industry led process which enables broad acre grain growers to improve farm production practices. The program has eight modules to cover property design, managing climate risk, making the most of rainfall, crop nutrition, pest management, irrigation and grain storage. Each module identifies about 20 areas of management (e.g. land preparation) and within each of these areas the module identifies which practices meet a minimum standard defined by industry through a series of reference group meetings. Practices that are not aligned with the minimum standard are described as either at a level that is below the standard, or at a level that is potentially desirable but above the minimum industry standard. The modules are self assessed and growers can complete modules on-line or in workshop environments.

The Grains BMP climate risk module described here focuses on best management practices in Australia’s northern grains region for managing climate variability and climate change with some attention to on-farm carbon. Adaptation to achieving greater resilience for managing climate risk in relation to business, environment and social objectives is emphasised. The climate risk module will be initially tested with twenty industry groups in the Northern Grains Region via a one-day workshop, and will develop on-going delivery through a “Train the Trainer” program.

Climate risk is set in the wider context of risk management using the methodology defined in the Australian Standard on risk management (AS/NZS ISO 31000: 2009). The four key areas of the module are: (1) survey of enterprise and climate information regards monitoring the current situation, analysing historical data and evaluating short-term, seasonal and climate change forecasts, (2) risk management principles, framework and process including risk assessment (likelihood, consequence and treatment priority), communication, monitoring and review, (3) review of strategies for managing climate risks (threats and opportunities) such as the “perfect” season for grain production, low and variable rainfall, extended and severe drought, excessive rain and high intensity storms, cool weather, frost, and hot-dry weather, and (4) managerial skills for strategic and tactical management of climate risks at paddock, whole-farm and off-farm levels.

While “best management practice” varies with location, enterprise and land capability, the management practices to emerge as high priority concern: (a) structural adjustments to the enterprise such as enterprise mix, machinery selection and adaptation of land use to on-going reviews of land capability particularly for high-risk marginal lands, (b) adjustments in seasonal tactics such as land preparation, crop selection, cropping intensity, planting methods, weed control, livestock management and marketing, and (c) development of managerial skill, adaptive capacity and off- farm investment. In general, those practices which deal effectively with the climate risks evident in historical records would be at the minimum industry standard, while practices that are designed to also deal with future climate risks projected from climate change scenarios would be assessed as desirable but above the minimum industry standard.

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I Craig, S Goh and S Mushtaq
Faculty of Enginnering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Greenhouse gas emissions from Australian Agriculture are approximately 16% of the total, but with simple changes in agricultural practices, this figure could probably be substantially reduced. Although there are no immediate plans to include agriculture in current Emission Trading Schemes, adaptations which Australian Agriculture should consider and prepare to undertake for the future include:

  1. solar thermal power – this is now only about twice as expensive as coal or diesel. The most economic method (ie. requiring low capital investment) appears to be the linear arrays of parabolic mirrors which heat tubes of oil. This heated oil can then be stored underground in large vats which can retain the heat for months. When heat or energy is needed on farm
    it can be simply drawn off using steam turbines to generate electricity. Australia receives approximately 1000Wm-2 over most of its land surface on average eight hours per day most days throughout the year this energy is entirely renewable with zero impact to the environment, and Australia should be leading the world in its implementation.
  2. zero till in addition to saving on diesel consumption, zero or minimal till practices retain more organic matter in the soil and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers. This in turn reduces loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere, including the potent GHG gas, nitrous oxide. The ploughing of soil is a convention that follows from the requirement for loosening and oxygenation of the damp and fertile geologically young glacial clays of Europe. In the cold temperatures of winter, not much organic matter is lost via oxidation, but this is a major problem with tropical and subtropical soils if they are overworked. Organic matter is required for satisfactory water retention in Australian soils which tend to be geologically old with low calcium/magnesium and high sodic contents.
  3. methane from intensive livestock waste lagoons – methane release from intensive livestock lagoons is a significant contributor to the total greenhouse gas emission from Australian agriculture. Primary anaerobic lagoons should be covered and the methane collected as a useful source of power. In southern and inland parts of Australia it does get cold enough for livestock sheds to require some heating during winter. Collection of methane from waste lagoons has recently proved useful for the winter heating of farrowing sheds in Queensland
  4. collection of green waste material for conversion to biochar: recent studies by the CSIRO have shown that
    addition of ground charcoal (or biochar) to soil improves soil fertility, and over the long term would form a useful way of sequestering carbon. As the nearly pure carbon product is dry, lightweight and free flowing, transport and application costs are reduced compared to those of conventional compost. More research needs to be done into the suitability/fertility of various source materials, and the economics of production and application.
  5. use of intensive livestock solids waste for conversion to biochar – sludge when pumped from the base of intensive livestock lagoons and applied directly to land is responsible for significant release of methane to the atmosphere. This sludge should be compressed, dried and the remaining separated solids converted to biochar. Engineering design work needs to be carried out to optimise biochar production and application processes.
  6. use of intensive livestock effluent for algal based biodiesel production – this nitrogen and phosphorus rich stream is abundantly available from the various intensive livestock industries across Australia. Rather than being used to irrigate poor quality soils which may suffer rapid loss of nutrients via deep drainage or overland flow or, effluent water could be used to grow algae for fuel in a controlled environment. Research is now well underway at USQ, UM and the Korean government into how to convert microalgae into fuel oil or biodiesel using photobioreactors. With fuel costs projected to significantly increase into the future, this technology could represent a very promising method for economic and carbon neutral on-farm fuel production.
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B Cullen, R Rawnsley and R Eckard
Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne, Australia
Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Australia

Australian pasture-based dairy systems rely on efficient conversion of pasture to milk, with stocking rate and calving time being key management decisions used to align animal requirements with the seasonal pattern of pasture supply. Pasture production is heavily reliant on the climate, and projected climatic changes will alter the pattern of pasture growth requiring farm managers to adapt their grazing systems. In south eastern Australia, climate changes for this century indicate warming with a drying trend. The capacity to adapt stocking rate and calving time to future climates was explored, by examining the impact of climate changes on pasture production and farm gross margin at three sites; Terang (south-west Victoria, Mediterranean climate); Ellinbank (Gippsland, Victoria, temperate climate); and Elliott (north-west Tasmania, cool-temperate climate).

A baseline (1971-2000) and 20 future climate scenarios covering the range of climate projections were examined at each site. Future climates were created by scaling the baseline climate by warming of 1, 2, 3 and 4oC (with atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 435, 535, 640 and 750 ppm respectively) and scaling rainfall events by -30,-20,-10, 0 or +10%. For
each scenario, production of perennial ryegrass/white clover pasture was simulated using DairyMod. Optimal stocking rate and calving time for each scenario was determined by the highest average gross margin using DairyPredict.

In the baseline climate, the mean annual pasture production was 10.7, 11.4 and 12.5 t DM/ha for the Terang, Ellinbank and Elliott sites respectively, with corresponding farm gross margins of $1336, $1538 and $2185/ha. The optimal management was 2.25 cows/ha calving in June at Terang and Ellinbank, and 2.25 cows/ha calving in July at Elliott. Annual pasture production declined with warming at Ellinbank and Terang, while at Elliott there was no difference in pasture production between 2, 3 and 4oC warming which were greater than at 1oC warming. At Elliott there was an increase in pasture production with +10% rainfall, but significantly lower production with each 10% rainfall decline. At Ellinbank and Terang there was no difference in pasture production between the 0 and ±10% rainfall change scenarios, while production declined with -20 and -30% rainfall.

Compared with using the baseline management, farm gross margins in the future climate scenarios were improved when stocking rate and calving time were adapted to match the changes in pasture supply. Where lower pasture production was modelled, reducing stocking rate alleviated some of the reduced gross margin compared to maintaining the baseline management. Where higher pasture production was simulated the implementation of higher stocking rates and earlier calving increased gross margins.

The mean benefit of adapting calving pattern and stocking rate, compared to maintaining the baseline management, across all future climate scenarios was $76, $58 and $471/ha at Terang, Ellinbank and Elliott respectively, indicating larger benefits in the cool temperate region where pasture production was expected to increase in a warmer climate. Consistently lower gross margins and smaller benefits of adaptation were simulated in the Mediterranean and temperate regions suggesting that further changes to the farm system are required to maintain profitability.

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R Darbyshire
Melbourne School of Land and Environment, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Fruit trees annually enter a dormant phase over winter to guard against damaging effects of cold temperatures. To break dormancy, trees must be exposed to a certain amount of cold temperatures. This process is known as vernalisation or chilling. Insufficient exposure to chill can cause poor and/or extended flowering which leads to poor fruit set and low yield.

The amount of chill required differs between and within fruit varieties. As well as this, different temperatures contribute with varying effect to chill accumulation. Temperatures below 0oC are ineffective chill temperatures and high temperatures have been shown to reverse previous chill accumulation. It is the interpretation of the effective chilling temperatures that is explored here.

Several chill models are available to calculate chill exposure. Three common models are the mathematical Utah and 0-7oC models and physiologically based Dynamic model. Historical trends of chill accumulation in key fruit growing areas in Australia will be presented to consider the impact of recent warming on this trait. Three different chill models will be utilised to demonstrate differences in models and implications for interpretation. Such a historical analysis has not been conducted in Australia, nor has investigation of several chilling models concurrently.

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I Farre and I Foster
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Australia

Climate change projections for the mid 21st century of increase in temperatures and decrease in rainfall could have adverse impacts on many agricultural systems, but may also offer new opportunities in some areas. Downscaled climate data from the Global Climate Model CCAM was used as input into the APSIM simulation model, to study the impact of climate change on wheat production in thewheatbelt of WA. The APSIM-Wheat (v. 4.1) model was run with current and future daily climate data to simulate grain yield. Simulations were run for 27 locations and 3 soil types. Changes in average yields are presented as maps for different soil types in the wheatbelt of WA. Changes in yield distribution are discussed in the context of changes in reliability of wheat production in different rainfall zones of Western Australia.The climate model simulated annual rainfall reductions of 5-11 per cent for the period 2035-2064 compared to the period 1975-2004, with the greatest rainfall reductions in the April-June period. Simulation results showed future yield decline for most of the wheatbelt. Without taking into account the possible effect of changes in technology, varieties and other adaptation strategies, future yields were lower at most locations. However, future yields were higher in high rainfall locations and waterlogging prone soils, where the decrease in rainfall meant a reduction in waterlogging. Yield changes across 27 locations were simulated to range from a 14% yield increase to 24% yield decrease. The biggest yield increases were found in prone waterlogging soils in high rainfall locations and the biggest yield decreases were found on heavy soils in low rainfall locations. Yield distribution will change in the future, with increase in the frequency of years with low or very-low yields in low and medium rainfall locations, making cropping a risky business in many low and medium rainfall locations. The yield decreases were due to lower rainfall and higher temperatures, which caused shorter growth duration and more water deficit in most locations. Lower rainfall in autumn delayed sowing, which led to a reduction in growth duration, and increased chance of severe water deficit during grain filling. In most locations the positive effect of increased CO2 was more than offset by the negative effect of lower rainfall, delayed sowing and increased temperature.

There were differences between soil types, with heavy soils experiencing more negative yield penalties in the future, compared to light textured soil types. The impact of reduced rainfall on grain yield was more severe on heavy soils which hold more water in the topsoil and therefore lose more water to evaporation than light soils.

In summary, assuming current practices, future wheat yields would be lower than current yields in most of the wheatbelt. However, future yields could be higher in some high rainfall locations and waterlogging soils. Heavier soils are more vulnerable to climate change than light textured soils. Wheat cropping on low rainfall locations and heavy soils will be more risky in the future than under current climate.

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R Gleadow, J Hamill, A Neale1, A Burns, R Miller, C Blomstedt1, N O’Donnell1 and T Cavagnaro
Monash University, Australia

Producing enough food to meet the needs of an increasing global population is one of the greatest challenges we currently face. To date the climate adaptation debate has largely focused yields but the nutritional quality of food is also of vital importance. Plants grown at higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 generally boosts plant growth and crop yields, so long as there is ample fertliser. With increasing cost of fertilisers and the looming phosphate shortage, such increases in yield made not be achievable. Moreover, plants will almost certainly decrease in nutritional value (protein, micronutrients) and many will become toxic. Plants naturally produce toxins and digestion inhibitors to protect themselves against herbivores. Over half of all crop plants, for example, produce compounds that release toxic cyanide when the plant tissue is chewed. Important staples that are cyanogenic include cassava and taro, as well as other pasture plants such as clover and sorghum. Too much cyanide in the diet can cause permanent paralysis of the lower limbs such as Konzo, or even death, especially in children. Konzo is already epidemic in parts of southern Africa. At the moment this is only a problem when cyanogenic plants are droughted. When we grew different types of plants in different climate scenarios, we found that the concentration of cyanogens either increased, or increased relative to protein in the leaves. This was a direct response to increased atmospheric CO2, but similar increases occur in droughted pants and those experiencing high temperatures. Protein concentration of plants will also certainly also decrease in the future. This is serious because the ability of humans and other animals to tolerate cyanide and other natural toxins depends on adequate protein intake. Protein content of cereals such as wheat and rice, for example, is likely to decrease 10-15% in the coming century. Lower leaf protein means that grazing animals would need to consume more to satisfy their protein requirements, potentially also ingesting more toxins. In order to maintain food security and avoid increased outbreaks in diseases such as Konzo, new cultivars need to be developed. We are using a combination of plant breeding, agricultural practice and food processing methods to try to address this issue. If we are to achieve food security in a high CO2 world, an integrated and multidisciplinary approach is needed.

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E Hadyansyah
Brawijaya University, Indonesia

Climate change and global warming is a global phenomenon that is triggered by human activities primarily related to the use of fossil fuels, natural processes, and control of land-use activities. The process can produce gases that numerous in the atmosphere. Among these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). These gases have greenhouse properties such as the continuing short-wave radiation, but absorbs and reflects long-wave radiation emitted by the earth that are hot that the temperature at the Earth’s atmosphere increased. Nowdays, plating paddy is one of the main causes of the methane emissions increased 21 times more potential greenhouse effects than carbon dioxide, which causes damage to the ozone and the rising temperature. Most of countries in Asia are widely planted rice for the staple food consumption in the asia society. The cause of rice cultivation as one of the largest producers of methane gas is metanogenic bacteria. They produce methane gas as existing in the roots of rice, rice with more irrigation systems provide an ideal environment for the process of methanogenesis or methane formation by anaerobic decomposition. Moreover, the variety of rice that is often planted have different morphological and physiological properties for each rice variety, longer periods crops to grow, more exudate and root biomass are formed so that emissions of methane are higher also the difference cavity diameter aerenchime, root oxidation power, and water management are thye critical factor to support methane production. Therefore, the problem solution is necessary to reduce emissions of methane gas produced by the rice without reducing the production of rice as the main crop. These steps can be done are first, by the aeration of the soil in a short time, this can reduce methane gas and it is also create efficiency irrigation water using. Intermittent irrigation will effectively reduce methane emissions ranged from 17 to 66% rather than continuous irrigation without reducing rice production. Second, by planting of new paddy varieties that emit low methane gas. IR64 rice types, SN90, and ciherang are known the most producing methane. These rice type can be reduced and replaced by varieties IR36, SN 60, or Maros which produces less methane, and the quality are not quite much different. Third, by fertilizing with enough nutrients, especially phosphore that is resulting in lower methane emissions. Fourth, by the provision of compost, because compost produces methane per unit of carbon is relatively lower than green manure or fresh straw. Giving the compost will not really increase methane emissions, while the rice straw is very really increase of methane emissions into the atmosphere. The use of organic ingredients cooked with the ratio C / N Low can reduce methane gas emissions. Fifth, by developing agro-forestry to reduce the concentration of CO2. By these various steps, the emissions of methane gas by paddy is expected to reduce the impact of global warming and significant climate change occur without reducing the quality and production of rice as a main crop. Keywords : Paddy, Methane Gas, Global Warming

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C Hall and A Wreford
Scottish Agricultural College, United Kingdom

Climate change is likely to pose significant challenges, as well as some opportunities, to the livestock sector in the United Kingdom (UK). Adaptation to the changes will undoubtedly be necessary to ensure continued success of the sector. However, little is known about stakeholder attitudes towards potential adaptations to climate change in the livestock industry. Attitudes are important in shaping behaviour, and without changes in behaviour, adaptation will not take place, leaving the sector vulnerable to changes in climate. Therefore understanding stakeholder attitudes is an important step in building a resilient livestock sector.

This study utilised an approach called Q methodology to investigate stakeholder attitudes towards adaptation to climate change, and thereby uncover the range of opinions relating to the topic. Stakeholders in the livestock industry consisted of representatives from industry groups and were asked to consider a number of statements relating to possible views about adaptation. The statements were gained from an earlier workshop and survey canvassing views on adaptation. Results reveal four positions relating to adaptation strategies in the UK livestock industry. The first position stresses that the answer to climate change adaptation depends on livestock farmers who know best how to manage their own enterprises, but also believes that, as this is a broader social problem, financial support should be provided. The second position emphasises that the answer lies in regulation and definitely not in GM technology. The third position believes that effective adaptation depends on education of, and information provision for, operators within the livestock industry. The fourth position believes that climate change adaptation should utilise technology, specifically GM. These four positions illustrate that stakeholders hold quite differing views on the best way to adapt to climate change. From a broader policy perspective, they need not be mutually exclusive. Position one strongly advocates freedom over decision-making, with financial support where necessary. Position two advocates that regulation be used as a safety-net beyond the autonomy provided by position one, to ensure that certain standards and safeguards are met. In reality, a compromise between positions one and two may be the most appropriate approach to ensuring effective adaptation without frustrating and perhaps disengaging stakeholders such as farmers who may be prepared to adapt anyway. Education provision can go hand in hand with both positions one and two, as can the development of technology. Other views may exist, but if they do, they represent additional positions not alternative ones.

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T Iizumi, M Yokozawa and M Nishimori
Agro-Meteorology Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Japan

One of the most concerning issues related to food security under changing climate is to know the changes in interannual variation of crop production induced by the change in intensity and frequency of climate extremes and climate variability. To minimize their negative impacts on crop production, it is essential to develop a tool that can predict the interannual variation of crop yield on a large scale with seasonal forecasts and/or climate projections. However, when developing a process-based crop model for a large scale, researchers encounter the difficulties in spatial heterogeneity of crop production aspect (ex., cultivar, planting, fertilizer, and irrigation). Typical grid interval of atmosphere-ocean coupled general circulation models (GCMs) that applied to seasonal forecasts and climate projections is hundreds kilometers. In a grid scale of GCMs, various types of crop management are assumable depending on the local environmental and socioeconomic conditions, although such detailed information over the globe is hard to access. Alternatively, it is needed that methodologies that can account the spatial heterogeneity in the crop production aspect on a grid scale of GCMs on the basis of the limited global datasets.

The presented study developed the process-based crop model by applying a Bayesian inversion analysis to the crop component of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to improve the model capability of simulating the interannual variation of maize yield over U.S., China, and Brazil. For each state (or province), the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) technique was applied to the 10 parameters of the model related to crop growth and yield to estimate their parameter values under the given data in the manner of probabilistic distribution. The posterior distributions ofthe parameter values were estimated on the basis of the data during the 20-year calibration period (1981-2000), while the verification of the model was conducted for the 27-year period (1981-2007). These calibration and verification procedures are used for all study areas. After iterating 10,000 times with three Markov chains, we discarded the first 8,000 samples as burn-in period and then calculated the posterior distributions of the parameter values on the basis of the remaining 6,000 samples. The Gelman-Rubin’s statistics indicates whether posterior distributions converged to the stationary distributions. The ensemble simulation results by perturbing the parameter values (referred to as perturbed-parameter ensemble approach) showed that the ensemble mean of the simulated maize yield agrees well with the observations for most study areas in terms of interannual variation, even though the modeling and calibration procedures were common for all study areas.

The obtained posterior distributions of the parameter values indicate the possible uncertainty of the parameter values under the given data. The perturbed-parameter ensemble approach gives better simulation results than the case based on only posterior means, suggesting the adequacy of ensemble approach to express the spatial heterogeneity in the crop production aspect. The higher capability of the model to simulate the interannual variation of crop yield would be beneficial to predict the impacts of climate extremes and variability on food security more realistically.

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A Kotera, N D Khang, T Sakamoto, T Iizumi and M Yokozawa
Kobe University, Japan
Southern Institute of Water Resources Research, Vietnam
National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, Japan

A cropping schedule that determine the dates of sowing, planting and harvesting with adequatecultivation management can influence crop productivity, water demand and resources allocation on arable land. Cropping schedules are usually planned to maximize economic crop yield and land use efficiency with minimizing risks of crop damage under the environment. Conversely, environmental change will bring about changes in cropping schedules especially in terms of the duration of crop cultivation and the number of harvests.

The Vietnam Mekong Delta (VMD) located in southwestern Vietnam produced 20.7 million tons of rice in 2008, which is one of major exporting countries of rice in the world. The rice production system being conducted in the VMD has been highly adapted to variable adverse water environment such as seasonal flood, salinity intrusion and onset of monsoon rains. Such adaptation means that the rice cropping schedule in the VMD varies with different regional environment, resulting in variable rice productivity across the delta. Actually, unusual climatic variations such as early flooding, early salinity intrusion and rainfall shortage often cause crop failure. To keep stable rice production in the VMD, the interplay of environmental conditions and cropping schedule should be quantitatively evaluated.

We developed a model for determining the cropping schedule of rice cultivation in the VMD, with adaptation to various water resources constraints to evaluate the effects of environmental change on rice cultivation. For the validation, we compared the model estimates on the heading date and time changes in leaf area index of rice crop with those estimated from the MODIS satellite imagery data at nine selected sites in the VMD. The route mean squared difference between model estimation and satellite with respect to the heading date of rice plant were 17.6, 11.2, and 13.0 days in the upper, middle, and coastal region of the VMD, respectively.

Coupling the cropping schedule model with hydraulic dynamic model of water resources and quality in the VMD, we evaluated changes in cropping schedules and crop failures caused by abnormal flood occurred in 2000 and salinity intrusion in 2004 as the extreme cases. There, we found a simple index defined as the difference between available period and required period for rice cultivation, i.e. safe margin for cultivation (SMC), is very useful for indicating the vulnerability for a cropping schedule adopted in the delta. We also projected climate change impacts on cropping schedule and rice production in the VMD. Several climate change scenarios and the resulting changes in river discharge of the Mekong river were applied to the model. As a result, total rice production in 2030 would decrease by about 11% relative to the present under the A1B SRES with the MIROC hires AOGCM scenario. This is mainly due to reduction in yield, while harvest area do not significantly change. Against these failures, adaptation measures can be considered based on the cropping schedule model.

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A Lankester
CSIRO, Davies Laboratory, Townsville, QLD, Australia
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia

Governments, communities and industries are urgently recommending rural landholders to adopt sustainable land-use practices to protect biodiversity, reduce the environmental impact of farming and become better prepared for the impacts of climate change. For the most part, however, they have been unsuccessful. Understanding what learning processes are important in driving rural landholders to conserve and protect natural resources is essential if we are to design policies that will be effective in accelerating sustainable land-use changes and averting ecological and social decline. This poster describes the results of a study that aims to increase our understanding of individual learning in a social learning process that leads to sustainable change in an industrialised rural agricultural context. I use the case study of the north-eastern Australian beef grazing rangelands where badly managed land is contributing to poor water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef, increased atmospheric dust loads and a loss of biodiversity. Sequential qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Through qualitative interviews with beef producers it was discovered that perceived personal and operational changes that showed signs of increased sustainability involved five main aspects (1) adoption of a more sophisticated management plan to include increased monitoring of stock, rainfall and pasture condition, strategies to reduce grazing pressure and increased business skills; (2) increased environmental awareness, particularly of pasture condition; (3) personal development (4) becoming less risk adverse; and, (5) becoming more proactive and adaptable. Learning experiences that were linked with increased sustainability tended to be interactions with respected peers in courses, workshops and project groups and the networks that resulted from these forums. This social learning process involved producers coming into contact with different life experiences and ideas, collective problem solving, knowledge sharing, a redefining of goals, acquiring skills, developing trust relations, critical reflection of decisions, learning to learn, broadening horizons and becoming more open and aware. Adversity or difficult times associated with drought, labour shortages and/or financial difficulties were seen by producers as strong catalysts for changing practices. Results of the quantitative survey showed that producers who said they were mainly learning from extension activities were significantly more likely than producers who said they were mainly learning from family, neighbours and self practice to report undergoing personal and operational changes that increased sustainability. In conclusion, social learning processes that appear to be developing identities more likely to change to sustainable land-use practices are happening through facilitated extension settings. These processes are providing opportunities for collective problem solving and changing perspectives of land management and beef production. On the other hand, the absence of discussion by producers of undergoing conflict management and negotiation processes as part of a need to overcome shared social-ecological problems, as well as a heavy emphasis on improving pasture rather than non-productive landscape features, indicates that different kinds of extension experiences are also likely to be necessary to transform the underlying assumptions of productivism. Increasing the opportunities for rural landholders to engage in these extension opportunities during drought and other difficult times could accelerate the ‘change process’.

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Y Li, W Ye, M Wang and C Yin
International Global Change Centre, The University of Waikato, New Zealand

This paper presents a modelling approach to investigate the synthetic impact of climate change on regional food security. An integrated model system, Food and Water Security Integrated Model (FAWSIM) was developed to assess the climate change impact on food security in different scales from global to local. The system integrated a suite of tools, including, drought risk assessment index (DRI), Food Security Index (FSI), crop model DSSAT, and food balance models, etc. These tools were employed to assess the synthetic impact of climate change on food security of Jilin province, China.

Using the drought risk assessment tool, from the ensemble of 120 runs (6 SRES emission scenarios ́20 GCM change patterns), the results showed, at global level, a consistent projection of higher drought disaster frequency (DDF) than that of baseline for most world cropland. It indicated an overall enhanced drought risk in future. Both drought affect area and drought intensity tended to increase with rising global temperature. The median value of ensemble for the drought disaster-affected area increased from 15% of baseline to 44% by 2100. The average cropland drought risk index (DRI) doubled from baseline 52.45 to 104.60 in 2050, and continue increased to 129.40 in 2100. Correspondingly, the drought affected rates of yield reduction of major crops increased significantly, more than 50% in 2050 and almost 90% in 2100.

Regionally, Food production risk was investigated DSSAT maize model. From DSSAT results, Jilin’s maize yield was highly likely to decline in the western and central, the high productivity area at present, but to increase in the current marginal growing areas in the east. The major phenological reason for such decline was due to the reduced growing season in the west and central, leading to a shortened grain filling period. The average maize yield in the west and central was projected to decrease 15% or more by 2050 as predicted by 90% of the 120 samples.

The FSI focuses on regional and local scales food availability, accessibility, and utilization, which took 13 food security related local aspects as indicators. The model results showed relative high values of present and future climate conditions for most cities and counties in the central area of Jilin, indicating a high resilience of these areas’ food security to climate change impact. Most counties in the west and a few in the east showed consistent low FSI values at baseline and future climate conditions, indicating relative high vulnerable situation of these areas .

Two potential adaptation strategies, increase irrigation and shift of maize cultivar, were identified from thevulnerability assessment and tested for Jilin. Increase total irrigation helps to maintain the current production level but only if the warming trend is under certain threshold, while the improvement of maize cultivars provides a more resilient solution against the future warming climate for the region in the long term.

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J Luck, J-P Aurambout and S Charkraborty
Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia
CRC National Plant Biosecurity, Australia
CSIRO Plant Industries, Australia

Climate change predictions for Australia include increasing CO2, temperature and humidity, decreasing frost events, and an increasing incidence of heavy and unseasonal rains, droughts, and storm events. These changes present a major threat to our horticulture and natural environments. Growth, development, physiology and behaviour of pests and pathogens will be altered, but the extent of these effects, and subsequent impact on host plants, isnot well understood. Bioclimatic models, like CLIMEX, showed the potential geographical distribution of exotic citrus canker (Xanthomonas citri pv citri) would shift to southern coastal and inland regions under increasing temperatures, based on its current climatic range overseas. However, this type of modeling was limited by the inability to assess pest-host interactions such as pathogen life cycle, competition and host availability.

To address this, an integrative modelling approach was developed, based on the concept of the plant disease triangle, where the successful development of a pathogen requires the interaction of host, pest and/or pathogen and a favourable environment. By coupling host-plant physiology, virus and vector population growth and climatic data with projected climate change conditions, we are able to predict individual species responses and shifts to historic geographic ranges. Strengthened by empirical data, these models are intended to be incorporated into plant biosecurity management and contingency planning, forming the basis of integrated scenario-based decision support systems for emergency pest and pathogen management.

A dynamic model was constructed in STELLATM for the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) [Pylloidea: Psyllidae], vector of huanglongbing (citrus greening disease) using daily temperature data coupled to host plant physiology data and pest population data to determine potential distribution and abundance. The model also predicted a population shift southwards but a potential decrease in psyllid numbers due to reduced availability of new citrus growth on which the psyllids reproduce and multiply. A model based on D. citri climatic requirements would have accounted only for the shorter development period and predicted an increased risk of potential distribution.

Current work focuses on developing an innovative spatial modelling environment using the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) which vectors Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The effect of climate change on aphid feeding behaviour, flight time and synchrony with the crop, virus acquisition and transmission rates and wheat phenology changes and physiological responses are being incorporated.

Experiments in the Australian Grains Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (Ag FACE) research facility have enabled field based investigations of the effects of elevated (e) CO2 on wheat pathosystems. Wheat stripe rust (Puccinia stiiformis) and crown rot (Fusarium pseudograminearum) severity, latent period, fecundity and host resistance was assessed under ambient and 550ppm CO2. While no effects of the treatment were observed with P.striiformis over two seasons, an increase in F.pseudograminearum biomass under eCO2 has been observed in 2008. Our integrated modeling and field based approach to resolving the likely effects of climate change to plant biosecurity will be presented.

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E Luedeling, EH Girvetz and P Brown
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya
The Nature Conservancy, USA
Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, USA

The economic viability of many temperate fruit and nut trees depends on the fulfillment of their winter chilling requirements, which vary across species and cultivars. Growers must identify appropriate cultivars for the climatic conditions of their production sites. Climate change threatens to reduce available chilling in many growing regions, potentially compromising the viability of orchard operations.

To estimate likely climate change impacts on fruit and nut production, we projected global winter chill for two past and 18 future climate scenarios, based on historic records from 4294 weather stations and projections by General Circulation Models (GCMs). The LARS-WG stochastic weather generator and idealized daily temperature curves were used to produce 100 years of synthetic hourly temperature records for each station and climate scenario. For two past scenarios (1975 and 2000), climatic conditions were obtained by linear regression of monthly minimum and maximum temperatures and precipitation over the entire reference period (1973-2002). The Climate Wizard tool was used to obtain future conditions projected by three GCMs (MIROC3.2 (medres), UKMO-HadCM3 and CSIRO-Mk3.0 GCMs) for three greenhouse gas emissions scenarios (A2, A1B and B1) and for two time periods (mean conditions between 2040 and 2059 and between 2080 and 2099). Safe winter chill (SWC; in Chill Portions – CP) was defined as the 10% quantile of the distribution over 100 years of winter chill, as calculated by the Dynamic Model. For each point in time and emissions scenario, interpolated SWC was then averaged over all three GCMs.

While winter chill remained relatively constant in temperate climates, Mediterranean growing regions experienced substantial losses. Between 1975 and 2000, average SWC among 10 important Mediterranean growing regions dropped by 9% from 78 to 71 CP. By 2050, losses of 20-27% (to 57-62 CP) were projected. By 2090, climatic conditions in many regions will likely be unsuitable for many currently grown cultivars, with SWC between 30 and 48% lower than 1975 (41- 55 CP). Warmer regions experienced the strongest effects. Between 1975 and 2090, average SWC over all emissions scenarios was projected to drop by 81% in South Africa, by 55% in Israel, by 53% in the Maghreb countries, by 51% in South Australia and Northern Mexico, by 37% in California’s Central Valley, by 36% in the Southeastern US and by 30% on the Iberian Peninsula, in France and in Italy. The mildest losses were projected for New Zealand (26%) and Chile (26%).

Scientific understanding of plant dormancy is incomplete, so that current winter chill models are only crude proxies of the physiological processes happening within trees. Nevertheless, the extent of projected changes in all major growing regions of Mediterranean fruits and nuts indicates that growers will likely experience problems in the future. More efforts should thus be undertaken to breed tree cultivars for lower chilling requirements, to develop tools to cope with insufficient chilling, and to better understand the temperature responses of tree crops.

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Q Luo1, Q Yu and D Eamus
University of Technology,Sydney, Australia

Impact of extreme climate events on agricultural production is a big concern in Australia. Both changes in climate variability and in mean climate can lead to extreme climate events but the former contribute more. The aim of this work is to examine the impact difference of changed climate variability and mean climate on wheat production processes. Daily outputs of CSIRO Conformal-Cubic Atmospheric Model (C-CAM) were used to derive changes in mean climate and in climate variability and to construct local climate change scenarios with and without changes in climate variability considered through a stochastic weather generator: Long Ashton Research Station- Weather Generator (LARS-WG), based on the characteristics of a specific weather station. The constructed climate change scenarios were then coupled with the Agricultural Production System sIMulator (APSIM)-Wheat model to examine the impact differences among these two climate change scenarios on wheat production at Wagga Wagga and Condobolin in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Impact indicators considered include an assessment of the key components of the water balance (transpiration, soil evaporation, evapotranspiration, runoff and drainage), water use efficiency (WUE), and grain yield. This study is centred on 2080 with corresponding pCO2 of 682 ppm under the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios A2 scenario set in the wheat model.

A decrease (5~13%) in the length of wet spells and an increase (18~19%) in the length of dry spells were projected by this climate model across the two locations considered. Rates of transpiration, soil evaporation and evapotranspiration were lower under the changed climate variability scenario compared with the change in the mean climate scenario at both locations, indicating the negative impact of drought. The same is true for yield at the two locations highlighting the negative impact of extended drought. WUE increased across the two climate change scenarios and locations due to the effect of CO2 fertilization on assimilation rates and transpiration rates when compared with the baseline climate scenario. However, the increase was less under the climate variability scenario compared with the mean climate change scenario only at Wagga Wagga. We conclude that this implies a larger reduction in yield than in water use. However, there was not much difference in WUE under the two climate change scenarios at Condobolin due to the similar reduction in yield and in water use resulting from the effect of the drought.

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Z Meng
Australian Defence Force Academy, University of New South Wales, Australia

The relationship between rice production and precipitation anomalies and temperature anomalies in mid and east China during different phases of El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) was examined. The NOAA National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP) monthly mean precipitation and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) (Reanalysis-2) monthly average temperature in the period of 1979-2008 were used. Agricultural output data at province scale from 1979-2008 were obtained from the China Statistical Yearbook. The relationship between the mid and eastern China rice yield and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was built through correlation/regression and Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analyses.

Mid and eastern China were chosen because these areas are the major rice growing areas and are very sensitive to weather fluctuations. The data set was processed to remove seasonal trends and highlight the inter- annual changes for analysis. EOF analysis was then used to establish the first EOF time series modal field. This was then correlated with SOI fluctuations and an economic model of rice production was built.

The contribution of monthly data’s first pattern time series to the variance is relatively small (30%) which suggests that monthly data’s relevant correlation with SOI is not obvious. But the relationship identified by the EOF analysis of the seasonal (spring, summer) temperature and precipitation anomaly is good (>50%). January, March, April, June, September and October’s SOI have significant relationship with temperature and precipitation at 95% confidence in the statistic model. The model is well fitted with R2 = 0.990253. Looking at the relationship identified, it is obvious that the agricultural machinery and electricity in rural areas, followed by the fertilizer application rate and the state financial expenditure items of expenditure in the agriculture have more significant influence on China’s rice production (the coefficient are 1.33, 0.8 and 0.85). However, SOI is one of the most uncontrollable factors in rice production and cannot be overlooked.

Finally, SOI of last January, September and October, as well as present March data are used which is comparative ahead of the annual grain harvest period. It brings a certain reference value for national food policy formulation and adjustment.

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A D Moore and J M Lilley
Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, CSIRO, Australia

Adaptation to climate changes by Australian broadacre farmers will largely take place via changes to paddock-scale management by individual landholders. As a result, the interacting consequences of changed climate and management on the agro-ecosystem must be understood concurrently in order to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed adaptation strategies. Simulation models based on equations describing the physics and biology of soil processes and the physiology and ecology of plants and animals have long been used to gain insights into these interactions.

The GRAZPLAN grazing systems models are widely used by Australian livestock producers and their advisors via the GrazFeed and GrassGro decision support tools. GrassGro consists of a simulation model (soil water budget, pasture growth model and livestock intake and nutrition model) of a simplified grazing enterprise, a flexible representation of the management of the livestock and an economic analysis module. The GrassGro software contains powerful facilities for carrying out and reporting modelling analyses.

To extend the GRAZPLAN models for use in climate change adaptation studies, we reviewed the literature on the likely impacts of increasing temperatures, altered rainfalls and increasing atmospheric CO2 composition. Effects of changes in rainfall can be represented by the existing water balance model. The key effects of increasing temperatures – at least to 2070 or so – are accounted for by existing model equations describing effects of increased temperatures on VPD, pasture phenology, rates of assimilation, respiration and decline in the digestibility of herbage, seed dormancy release, reductions in animal intakes on hot days, decreased energy expenditures by livestock in winter and lower peri-natal mortality of lambs.

The GRAZPLAN pasture model was generalized to account for the effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 composition. Four CO2 effects were added to the model: reduced transpiration due to partial stomatal closure, a direct CO2 fertilization effect, increase in specific leaf area and decrease in leaf nitrogen content. There are few data describing these effects at a field scale; our modelling approach was therefore to reason from physiological principles and to define parameters that could be estimated from the physiological literature. Relative changes in specific leaf areas and leaf nitrogen content per unit leaf area are modelled empirically. Transpiration rate at a given CO2 concentration is related to that at a reference concentration using the Penman-Monteith equation. Leaf stomatal resistances are modelled empirically as a linear function of external CO2 concentration. The direct fertilization effect of CO2 concentration under radiation-limited conditions is modelled using the equation of Reyenga et al. (1999), which is based on a consideration of leaf-level photosynthesis. Under transpiration-limited conditions, a linear CO2 response is modelled, with the slope depending on the transpiration rate sensitivity parameter.

Parameter values for these effects were derived from the literature for C3 grasses, C4 grasses, legumes and other dicotyledons. The extended pasture model has been incorporated into the GrassGro decision support tool with only minor changes to the user interface. Application of the new model to climate change adaptation studies is reported in a companion poster (Alcock et al.).

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N Namjildorj, A Zerihun, M Gibberd, B Bates
Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, CSIRO, Australia

The projected climate change is likely to impact on wine quality as climate is a dominant factor that influences wine grape quality. Wine grape quality at harvest is the key variable determining the subsequent wine quality. However, the direction and magnitude of climate warming impact on fruit quality of wine grape varieties are unknown. For this study we carried out fruit sampling for major wine grape varieties from ten vineyards with varying growing season temperature and assessed some key quality parameters at uniform maturity level of 22 °Brix. At this maturity, the level of titratable acidity in all varieties showed significant negative trend as the growing season temperature increased. The rate of acidity loss per degree increase in growing season temperature is found to be highest for Chardonnay followed by Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Similarly, berry anthocyanin level declined with the increasing growing season temperature. However, the rate of anthocyanin loss per degree increase in average temperature was higher for Cabernet Sauvignon than Shiraz indicating different sensitivity to temperature. Since climate projections from the various emission scenarios fall within the range of the temperature gradient from this study, these results provide estimates of the likely impact of climate change on some of the key berry quality parameters for major wine grape varieties.

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H Neufeldt
World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya

Human induced change of ecosystems will seriously limit the ability of ecosystems to provide basic needs for food, water, timber, fibre and fuel for the future if current trends are not reversed through significant changes in policies, institutions and practices. At the same time, population growth, particularly in the developing world, to approximately 9 billion people by 2050 will require at least 70% increase in food production, if current mal- and undernutrition are concomitantly to be reduced.

While agriculture, forestry and land livestock management are strong contributors to climate change, accounting for approximately 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, climate change threatens progress already made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and in providing sustainable livelihoods to millions of smallholders.

Agriculture of the future must meet the triple challenge of: raising food production per unit area; reducing the vulnerability of agricultural systems to climate change; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Agriculture with trees is ideally placed to tackle all three challenges.

  1. Trees on farms sequester carbon and contribute to mitigating climate change Carbon sequestered by trees and stored in aboveground biomass and soil contributes to reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. While estimates of their carbon sequestration potential vary greatly, agroforestry systems tend to sequester much greater quantities of carbon than agricultural systems without trees. Analysis of the spatial distribution of existing agroforestry systems shows a wide potential for increasing tree cover on agricultural lands and rangelands. Research from Indonesia suggests that the opportunity cost of increasing tree cover on agricultural lands is generally below USD5 and therefore offers an efficient and cost effective way of mitigating climate change.
  2. Trees on farms enhance resilience to climate variability Trees on farms help adaptation to climate change by reducing vulnerability to climate impacts . The ability of agroforestry to generate more income and hence raise the adaptive capacity of smallholders is described in the section on food security. Trees on farms can diminish the effects of weather extremes such as droughts or heavy rain. Research has found that the tree components of agroforestry systems stabilize the soil against landslides and raise infiltration rates. This limits surface flow during the rainy season and increases groundwater release during the dry season. With rainfall intensities expected to rise with climate change this feature of agroforestry systems to prevent landscape degradation will become more important in the future. Using the right agroforestry species in connection with annual crops has also been shown to beneficially redistribute water in the soil profile, providing annual crops with greater water availability. Using appropriate agroforestry species can also provide fodder and shade for livestock, protect soils against irradiation during the dry season, and provide organic fertilizers for annual crops during the rainy season. Whilst important today, these factors will become even more important in the future.
  3. Tree-based agricultural systems improve food security and livelihoods Diversification of food production is a key strategy to increase food security. By integrating trees in their farms and rangelands, farmers reduce their dependency on a single staple crop. For example, if a drought destroys the annual crop, trees will still provide fruits, fodder, firewood, timber and thereby sustain the farmers’ livelihoods. Higher soil organic matter and available nutrients in tree-based agro-ecosystems can also significantly increase yields in smallholder farming systems. This is of particular importance where access to mineral fertilizers is restricted by high costs or limited availability. Various studies have shown the importance of this additional income to smallholder food security. Less dependence on a single commodity and higher yields raise the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers against climate related risks.
  4. Policy recommendations:
  • Increased adoption of agroforestry should be supported through finance for agricultural development and adaptation as well as mitigation.
  • Payments for environmental services –including carbon finance – geared towards increasing the extent of trees on farms
  • More support is needed to increase the contribution of tree-based crops to smallholder incomes, thus diversifying income sources and increasing food security in the face of climate change.
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G O’Leary, B Christy, P Riffkin, A Weeks, C Beverly and J Nuttall
Department of Primary Industries, Horsham, Victoria, Australia
Department of Primary Industries, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
Department of Primary Industries, Hamilton, Victoria, Australia

The expected response of spring wheat to possible future climates in Australia range from positive (0 to +30%) to negative (-40 to 0%). Some studies have reported an expectation of little change in grain yield. Reasons for such diverse conclusions are varied but include spatial variance in soil types, agronomy and the climate itself. Of these, climate is probably the largest factor affecting the yield expectation in any locality in Australia. Two undisputed climatic factors that will have large effects on crop production are the rising global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The extent to which these are moderated by rainfall in non-irrigated production systems is another source of uncertainty with greater response to elevated CO2 under dry conditions reported in some locations, but not all. Under the present climate, the adaptation strategy of Australian crop scientists is to design crops that can be sown early enough to produce a large enough biomass by the time of flowering. Their aim is to set sufficiently large number of grains outside the period where winter and spring frosts destroy those grains. The problem, however, is not to delay flowering that the grain cannot fill before inevitable terminal drought. The aim is to maximise grain yield whilst minimising environmental stress to crops.

Under future climates how might our present wheat cultivars need to be altered to maximise grain yield? It appears that the present genetic variability is sufficient to cope with the climatic changes represented by the IPCC A1Fi scenario to about 2050. The most critical climatic factor is the increasing temperatures. Whilst mean temperature under A1Fi appears manageable, fluctuations above the normal coping range for crops is expected to induce more frequent catastrophic crop failures. Crops are most sensitive to high temperatures during pollen formation and fertilisation this occurring between September and October in Victoria. Currently, no contemporary crop models simulate the effect that increasing temperature has on the biophysical processes during grain set, due largely to the poor knowledge. Whilst our simulations do not explicitly account for such failures they should be considered the best case scenario rather than the worst case despite the simulated declining yields beyond 2050 for much of Victoria. We expect that if mean temperatures rise by about 3 degrees in western Victoria by 2100 as estimated by CSIRO’s latest modelling (CSIRO Mark 3.5), then crop failures would be more the norm and there would be limited capacity for our wheat genetic resources to prevent such failure. In this context of a moderate temperature rise of about 2 degrees, we expect that wheat crop phenological development can be re-engineered to maximise grain yield under future climate scenarios across Victoria.

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D Parsons, S Lisson, G Holz, N MacLeod and K Bridle,
Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Australia 2Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Australia
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia

As climate change is a reality for Australian farming systems, it is necessary to provide adaptation strategies and risk management options for farmers, at paddock and whole farm scales. The objective of this research project is to increase knowledge and awareness among farmers about the implications of climate change on broad-acre cropping in Tasmania, and to generate potential management strategies. A participatory research approach is being used to inform model development for crops (APSIM), pastures (SGS and GrassGro), and whole farms (AusFarm) for five contrasting crop-livestock agricultural areas across Tasmania; Deloraine, Cressy, Tunbridge, Bothwell, and the Coal River Valley. Paddock scale simulations of crop and pasture production for 2050 and 2085 were developed and are presented in this poster. Future climate data sets were used from two sources; downscaled GCM models from the Climate Futures Tasmania project; and, scaled historical data from the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence (QCCCE). Future analyses will be at the whole farm level, including economic analyses of potential management changes.

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H R Parry, D J Kriticos, J-P Aurambout, W Griffiths, K Finlay, P De Barro, and J Luck
CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia
CRC for National Plant Biosecurity, Australia
Department of Primary Industries VIC, Australia
Department of Primary Industries, VIC, Australia

Relationships between a crop, pathogenic disease and a pest that vectors the pathogen can be complex. Rising atmospheric CO2 and temperature may influence plant viruses through effects on hosts and disease vectors, both at the individual and the population scale. For example, nutrient balances within the plant are likely to be altered due to changes in photosynthesis or secondary metabolism. Insect vectors may increase their number of generations or number of flights with warmer temperatures. At the population scale, plant and/or insect species ranges may shift. Such changes may be influenced by other factors, such as adaptation to new environmental conditions. It is therefore highly likely that projected climatic changes will alter the dynamics of such crop-vector-disease systems, presenting us with new biosecurity challenges from existing pests.

Cereal Yellow Dwarf Virus (CYDV) is a widespread pest of wheat crops that is vectored by an aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi. Rhopalosiphum Padi is the most abundant species of aphid in Australia and the most important vector of CYDV: direct damage by aphids in Australia is of less concern than their importance as disease vectors. CYDV is a highly significant disease of cereals in Australia with impacts on cereal yields, particularly in areas where the aphid can find refuge during the hot summer. A spatially-explicit process-based model is being developed using DYMEX to simulate the population dynamics of the aphid in several agricultural landscapes of Australia. This model responds to the influence of the environment, including weather, on: (1) the habitat of the species (incorporating a wheat growth model); (2) the species’ population dynamics and phenology and (3) the dispersal of the aphid with subsequent CYDV disease spread. This tri-trophic model will enable us to project the outcomes of various future climate scenarios for the wheat-aphid-disease system in these regions.

The modelling benefits from knowledge gained at the free air CO2 enrichment facility [The Australian Grains (AG) FACE] established in 2007 at Horsham, Victoria. This experiment has generated data on the response of wheat crops to elevated CO2 under a range of temperature and water conditions. Additionally, the epidemiology of CYDV and physiology of its main vector, Rhopalosiphum padi, was also investigated in an associated set of experiments. The heuristic understanding gained from this modelling will inform adaptation options aimed at making robust future-oriented biosecurity decisions. We present the model development to date.

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B Power, D Rodriguez and P deVoil
DEEDI, Australia

Static-equilibrium models have been used to model and explore the optimal allocation of limiting resources in farming systems. This approach however is limited in its applicability due to a reliance on assumptions about distributions made a priori on likely yields, prices, water allocations, etc.; and an inability to accommodate tactical and strategic responses to climate and markets.

Here we present an alternative dynamic framework that integrates multiple mechanistic bio-physical models that operate at differing scales i.e. the management unit, the farm and the catchment. Semi-structured interviews with farmers provide farm specific data, such as water sources and their annual allocations, water storage capacities, cropping areas, agronomy, irrigation management and paddock layout relative to storages. Plant, soil and agronomic interactions are simulated within homogeneous irrigation management units (described here as paddocks) using the point scale Agricultural Production System sIMulator (APSIM). Multiple paddocks within the farm are then represented in silico by various instances of APSIM using the farm scale bio-economic model APSFarm. Farm business constraints are included such as limits to the availability of resources, e.g. land, irrigation water, machinery and time. A farm manager is modelled using coded algorithms to specify field crop rotations and preference for the allocation of resources across alternative crop enterprises, risk attitude and cropping intensity.To demonstrate the ability of this framework to explore adaptation options to climate change at the farm- level we applied it to a case study of an irrigated farm business near Dalby and provide metrics on the cost and benefits of alternative irrigation allocation strategies in response to scenarios of reduced farm water.

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P Thorburn, N Marshall1 and G Wright
CSIRO, Australia
Peanut Company of Australia, Australia

Agriculture in Australia has developed in response to a variable, but relatively stable climate. Under projected climate change, one adaptation strategy for farmers and/or industries is to move from areas of increasingly less-favourable climates, to regions becoming more suitable for crops. There are examples of this change currently happening in Australia. Such a transformation may underpin future food production and food security. However it raises many questions, both biophysical and social, that are beyond current experience of those involved in agricultural industries. To better assess the issues facing industries contemplating or undertaking transformation, we are studying the transformation of the peanut value chain in Australia.The Burnett region in southeastern Queensland (~200 km NE of Brisbane) is the traditional ‘home’ of peanut production in Australia. The viability of peanut production in the Burnett region has declined by 70% over the past 25+ years due to lower than average rainfall, water stress and increased disease (aflatoxin) incidence. This decline in production is forcing peanut farmers to diversify their cropping options, and so threatens the viability of the peanut processing business in the region.

To manage the impact of climate change on the peanut value chain, Australia’s largest peanut processing company, the Peanut Company of Australia (PCA), has embarked on a strategy to diversify the location peanut production to regions of more reliable rainfall. In particular, they have invested in farms in Katherine, in Northern Territory of Australia (~ 300 km S of Darwin). As well as reliable rainfall, the region has good supplies of irrigation water allowing peanuts to be produced in both the wet (summer) and dry (winter) seasons.

The peanut value chain transformation poses many questions for consideration, such as: What will be the impact of this cropping system on the environment in the new region? What are the pest, disease and biosecurity risks? How will the cropping system, and its impact, change with further climate change? Within the social domain, what are key characteristics of the planning and reorganisation phases are the ‘preconditions’ for a successful transformation? Monitoring the transformation process in both the ‘new’ and ‘old’ regions allows us to identify the main influences and magnitude of associated social impacts including the capacity to accommodate and support a transformation.

The study is addressing these questions. Activities and insights to date include:

  • Preliminary simulation studies have shown the potential for substantial losses of nitrogen to the local environment, which has significant natural values, if nitrogen fertiliser management and crop rotations in the new cropping system is not optimised. Nitrogen losses could also occur in the form of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. However, there is potential for build up of carbon in the soils under the cropping systems, off-setting some of these losses. Field experiments have been initiated to better parameterize and validate models, and study soil nitrogen and carbon cycling processes. This work will support PCA’s current research into production agronomy of the new cropping system.
  • In-depth interviews with company and community stakeholders have commenced to identify key social features of, and influences on, the transformation process. These interviews are exploring the factors that lead to PCA’s decision to expand into Katherine, the main challenges associated with this move, the kinds of changes and impacts the expansion will have for PCA and the Katherine and Burnett regions and the key success factors associated with this transformation.<.
  • Potential pests, disease and biosecurity impacts of establishing peanut production systems in Katherine are being reviewed, with a particular emphasis on the landscape design that might result in the best pest suppression for key pests.

The lessons from the above activities will be synthesised and collated to provide a blueprint for enhancing the success of farmers and agricultural industries who are considering and transformational adaptation strategy to climate change adaptation to ensure future food production and food security. The blueprint will detail (a) the key social conditions and influences necessary for successful transformation to occur, (b) the nature of the likely social impacts to be considered, (c) the most crucial issues, both biophysical and social, to be considered to ensure transformation strategies are effective and efficient, and (d) the kinds of information sources that can be drawn upon to support the transformation process.

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M I Travasso1, G O Magrin, G R Rodríguez and A I Salinas
Instituto de Clima y Agua, CIRN, INTA, Argentina
EEA Manfredi, INTA, Argentina

In the Rio Segundo basin, placed in the semiarid boundary of Córdoba province in central Argentina, up to present water supply for irrigation (groundwater) is not a limiting factor and a number of farmers are using supplementary irrigation. As future regional climatic projections indicate that temperatures will increase more than 3°C by 2080, while precipitations will little increase during summer, water demand will increase and is likely that crop production will be affected. The aim of this work was to assess the impacts of future climatic scenarios on irrigated crop production in the Rio II basin and, to propose potential adaptation measures. For this purpose we used crop simulation models (DSSAT v. 4.02). Climatic inputs for present climate were obtained from meteorological stations placed in the basin. As future climate we used outputs from a regional model for the 30-year period centred in 2080. Monthly climatic variables were obtained for the grids (50 km*50 km) covering the Rio II department (some 500.000 ha). Daily values of precipitation, solar radiation and maximum and minimum temperatures were obtained by means of a weather generator parameterized after observed climate. Typical crop management inputs: planting dates, plant density, cultivars, fertilization and irrigation and soil inputs related to physicochemical properties for the main soil series, were considered.

Simulations were done for the most frequent crop sequence with and without considering CO2 effects. The typical rotation includes 4 crops in 3 years: the double crop wheat/soybean (WH-SB2), followed by fallow, maize (MZ), fallow and soybean (SB).Without considering CO2 effects, an overall decrease in crop yields was found for this crop sequence. Reductions averaged 1%, 7%, 28% and 29% for WH, SB2, MZ and SB respectively, and irrigation requirements slightly increased (4%). When CO2 effects were considered, yields increased by 18%, 34% and 5% for WH, SB2 and SB, while MZ yields decreased by 21%. In addition, irrigation requirements decreased by 15%. Increased CO2 benefited crop yields and water use efficiency and the shortening of crop cycles, as consequence of higher temperatures, led to lower seasonal water use.

In spite of these positive effects, as future warming will promote extended frost-free periods, it would be possible to take advantage of changing crops calendar in order to maximize the use of resources. Adaptation strategies indicate that anticipating planting dates by some 20-30 days will permit to incorporate an additional crop in the rotation (like soybean as second crop after maize), as well as to modify the irrigation strategies leading to water savings. Increased productivity and extra water savings, without significant decreases in rainfed crop yields, would be possible applying this strategy. Notwithstanding, cultural practices leading to preserve soils sustainability should be assured.

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L Webb, PH Whetton and EWR Barlow
School of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia

Forty vineyard blocks in eleven winegrape growing regions from south-eastern Australia, representing a range of agro-climatic zones, are assessed in this study of observed changes in phenology of managed biological systems through time. In all blocks assessed, across all regions and varieties, we note a trend to earlier ripening.

Earlier ripening is not desirable in most cases. Grapes are ripening at a warmer time in the year with probable changes to fruit composition. A potential negative consequence is the production of higher alcohol wines and this has been observed in recent vintages. Compression of the harvest period also creates pressure on winery infrastructure and problematic harvest logistics.

While in all regions a warming trend is evident we wanted to test the assumption that the warming is responsible for the earlier ripening of the grapes. This attribution analysis, assessing drivers of change, explores the theory that both climatic and non-climatic forces affected the changing rate of accumulation of sugars in grape berries. We found that when longer term datasets are analysed less than one third of the observed overall shift in ripening can be attributed to corresponding increases in temperature.

By re-testing assumptions we have potentially exposed some management levers that could reverse the undesirable early ripening trend. Factors such as vineyard yield, irrigation regime, canopy management, vine health and perhaps increasing carbon dioxide have been suggested as affecting the trend in rate of ripening. The contribution from these will require further quantification and will be explored in subsequent studies.

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N P Webb1 and C J Stokes
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Queensland

Assessments of adaptation options are required in preparing environmental and socio-economic systems for climate change. This assessment must address key vulnerabilities of the systems, and so be relevant to the range of possible but uncertain impacts that may arise as a consequence of climate change. Such an exercise requires an ability to evaluate the responses of system exposure units to the full range of potential climate changes. A key challenge in this process is evaluating the diversity of exposure units, climate change projections and adaptation options without becoming inundated by factorial combinations of these components. There is thus a requirement for approaches that reduce the complexity and number of factorial combinations in adaptation assessments while enabling systems responses and adaptation options to be evaluated across the range of potential climate change.

This research addresses the issue by developing an approach to produce local climate change scenarios based on multiple GCM projections, under a range of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, over the 21st century. The objective was to capture and summarise the range of projected climate changes and model uncertainty along a gradient of change so that a few scenarios could be selected that are representative of changes along the entire gradient. This reduces the number of factorial model runs required in adaptation assessments, allowing more effort to be directed towards evaluating the range of adaptation options. Climate change projections from 22 GCMs for the Australian continent were acquired from the OzClim online database. Projections were acquired showing mean annual change in temperature and mean annual percentage change in rainfall (relative to 1990) for the A1B, B1 and A1FI emissions scenarios, for the years 2020, 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2100. Change factors for grid cells overlying locations of interest were extracted from the projections, compiled in a database, and grouped into classes along a gradient of projected temperature change. The median, 10th and 90th percentiles of rainfall change for each temperature group were then identified and used to define how the projected rainfall change (and uncertainty) varies along the gradient of projected temperature change. Climate change scenarios were derived by identifying points along the gradient from which inferences can be made across the rest of the gradient.

To demonstrate and evaluate an application of the approach, scenarios were developed for select locations in the north-eastern Australian rangelands. The scenarios were used to scale historical climate data for input into a pasture production model (GRASP), which was run to simulate climate change impacts on forage production, animal performance and land degradation. The application shows that climate change impacts on rangeland systems may track projected changes in temperature and rainfall captured by a suite of climate change scenarios. Therefore, modelled impacts (and uncertainties) can reasonably be approximated by extrapolation across the gradient of projected climate change. This implies that the approach to scenario development can be used to simplify assessments of impacts and adaptation options by reducing the number of analyses required to elucidate systems responses and the performance of adaptation options under projected climate change.

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G R Wilson
Australian Wildlife Services, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Kangaroos are adapted to Australia’s variable climate and are abundant in the temperate rangelands where cattle and sheep are raised. They are not contained and roam from property to property seeking out best pastures in response to local rainfall. Kangaroo harvesting is regulated under nationally coordinated wildlife trade management plans that have consistently been endorsed by professional ecologists and wildlife managers and their associations. Nevertheless under current arrangements it is rare for landholders to benefit from the kangaroos on their lands or play a role in their management.

Ruminant livestock produce the GHG methane and so contribute to global warming. Methane from the foregut of cattle and sheep constitutes 11% of Australia’s total GHG. This means that methane from livestock is equivalent to two thirds the emissions produced by the Australian transport sector. Kangaroos, on the other hand, are non-ruminant forestomach fermenters that produce negligible amounts of methane. When agriculture is eventually covered in an Australian emissions trading scheme, ruminant livestock owners or downstream service providers such as abattoirs and shipping terminals will have to account for livestock emissions. One of the ways being trialled by Australia’s livestock industries to reduce methane emissions is to introduce kangaroo gut microorganisms to cattle but this approach has not been successful.

Another option, particularly for Australia’s vast rangelands, is for pastoralists to use kangaroos to produce low- emission meat. If kangaroo numbers increased to grow the same amount of meat, permits for kangaroo emissions would be significantly cheaper than those for cattle and sheep, perhaps providing the incentive for farmers to switch to kangaroos. On the rangelands where kangaroo harvesting currently occurs, increasing the kangaroo population to 175 million from 34 million while reducing the cattle and sheep by 20 % per year to 2020 would lower Australia’s GHG by 16.4 megatonnes or 3 % of Australia’s total emissions.

To manage kangaroo’s free ranging behaviour and increase the value of the product, some graziers in Queensland established a cooperative in 2009. They are following trends throughout the world, where native species play an increasingly significant role in rural production processes. The Cooperative had support from the National Landcare Program and the RIRDC. It sought to reduce grazing pressure and encourage the restoration of trees, shrubs, understorey and grasslands, reduce soil degradation, potentially increase water quality, extend wildlife corridors while improving the quality and consistency of kangaroo products and the animal welfare standards under which they are taken.

While a broad scale changeover from beef and sheep to kangaroos is unlikely to be a solution to either climate change adaptation or greenhouse gas amelioration, greater use of kangaroos is an option that warrants further investigation. If rainfall decreases in southern Australia in winter and spring, cropping and irrigation will revert to grazing for animal production. Thus, rangelands will increase in area, although some currently marginal areas could be expected to become unproductive.

The Queensland Cooperative project is currently languishing while waiting for further investment to continue the trial, including a re-estimation of the methane production by kangaroos. Notwithstanding support from catchment management agencies, other funding sources seem reluctant to invest because of criticism from both animal rightists and uniformed elements in pastoral industries.

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