Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Leading the way in climate change

Farmers in south eastern Australia are at the forefront of climate change adaptation.


he data speaks for climate is getting patterns are changing.

Severe droughts used to happen every decades, now they happen every few years.

Scientists and farmers have been working together to make sense of these changes and farmers have been adapting out of necessity.

Adaptation examples in the grains industry include:

• retaining ground cover through stubble reduce soil evaporatio­n.

Titself, the Australian warmer and rainfall


controllin­g weeds out of season to conserve moisture for use during the cropping season.

cutting frosted grain crops for hay to salvage income.

Reading the mood of climate is a tool that helps ever-adaptable farmer.

Climate moods have great potential understand­ing the production potential for season and informing management decisions.

for each

Climate mood is a phrase coined by Agricultur­e Victoria climate specialist Graeme Anderson.

The Climate mood process I’ve developed uses a report card system to group previous years to inform how rainfall, production and whole-farm performanc­e react to each mood. by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño– Southern Oscillatio­n (ENSO). amount of rainfall that occurs in any one year in southern Australia. The moods are graded from A to F based on ENSO and IOD combinatio­ns.

The past does not predict the future, but it can provide examples of what to expect and help assign probabilit­ies when done using data from the past 20 years.

Mood F is a bad mood. It contains years with positive IOD phases (with or without an El Niño phase).

Over the past 20 years, using Longerenon­g in Western Victoria as the example, rainfall in F years

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