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Embedding climate change in agriculture in NE Victoria

As farmers, land managers and local councils seek to better understand and adapt to the impacts of climate change in North East Victoria, the North East CMA is helping these groups understand how climate change might affect agribusinesses in the region and identify solutions to help them adapt.  

The five-year Embedding Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture project for North East Victoria was launched in November 2019 with a wide-ranging report that included information from commercial producers in the cropping, grazing, dairy, wine, horticultural and forestry sectors. This data established regional industry standards for the timing of on-farm activities and plant growth triggers such as temperatures and rainfall that effect profitable and sustainable production.   

These standards were combined with climate data from CSIRO and predictions from the Inter-governmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) to develop agricultural production models for the region. 

The resulting Embedding Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture, North East Victoria report and associated tools on the North East CMA web site include maps that landholders can use to see how they might be impacted by climate change for the next 30 years.  

“The report and associated tools can support discussions around managing climate change impacts and help agribusinesses and the six local councils in North East Victoria with tools and knowledge such as maps and graphs to help assess the possible impacts of climate change on our major agricultural industries,” said project manager, Lachlan Campbell. 

“The models will also help planning by local councils to build resilience and support adaptation to the impacts of climate change.” 

Co-designed by Melbourne based company Spatial Vision, this work received the 2019 Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for environment and sustainability. 

In addition, North East CMA launched an online survey to better understand the North East community’s knowledge around climate change, the drivers for adaption and what it might mean for the region.  

“We wanted to understand the adaptive solutions our farming communities might already have and areas where land managers might need further support,” said Lachlan. 

With a baseline survey now undertaken, there will be further surveys and analysis to determine the impacts of the project on knowledge and decisions making released at the end of the project. 

The Embedding Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture project is supported by the North East CMA through funding provided by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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