• Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Future Drought Fund
  • Completed
  • SW Victoria
  • Current
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Research Question

How prepared is your farming business to predicted climate change? Climatic risk (including drought) is an accepted part of farming and historically most businesses have been able to survive these challenging periods and rebound.  However climate change is increasing this variability, to an extent that events are predicted to be more extreme, intense and prolonged.  So how well prepared is your business?

Research Information & Objectives

This project has analysed 32 farm businesses in South West Victoria to understand the financial implications of predicted future climate scenarios.  Southern Farming Systems are conducting this analysis in good times, rather than during difficult periods, so there is less stress and we have time to discuss and think about implementing possible changes.

The core of the project is to develop a profit risk profile for farm businesses.  This shows the current range in profit and the probability of these profit results occurring.  It was done individually because every farm is different. Crop only, livestock only and mixed enterprise businesses have been analysed.

Once a farm business was analysed we imposed different climate change impacts, such as increased temperature, changes to the amount and frequency of rainfall and frosts to the current production system.  The climate scenarios are then compared to the current situation, so the financial impact can be quantified.

All the farms are now complete, there has been the opportunity to join group discussions where the common impacts were presented and possible solutions discussed. This includes a combination of larger strategic decisions such as changing enterprise mix or building a livestock containment area, to the smaller tactical and operational decisions like changing varieties or tweaking lambing times.

To learn more of the outcomes of this project please checkout the following resources:

  1. Group Meeting Presentation of Results Powerpoint 
  2. Calculating the impact of climate change on farm profit Report 1. Climate Predictions & Crop & Pasture Modeling
  3. Calculating the impact of climate change on farm profit Report 2. Financial Analysis


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