• Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Future Drought Fund
  • 6 months
  • 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 aims to analyse 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 your farm business.  This shows the current range in profit and the probability of these profit results occurring.  It must be done individually because every farm is different. Crop only, livestock only and mixed enterprise businesses can all be analysed.

This is followed by imposing different climate change impacts, such as increased temperature, changes to the amount and frequency of rainfall and frosts to your current production system.  The climate scenarios are then compared to the current situation, so the financial impact can be quantified.

Once all the farms are completed, there will be the opportunity to join group discussions where the common impacts will be presented and possible solutions discussed. This will include 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.

We are also keen to involves other key people in your business including your advisor, accountant and banker if you wish.

The cost is $550 per business.

The process

There are 4 parts to the project.

Part 1. A short small group introductory session will be help (face to face and on line) to explain the project further and answer any question you have.  At this session we will also book a time for an initial interview

Part 2. Conduct a short (2-3 hr) interview on your farm to collect the base information to construct the model.  We will send draft versions of the results back to you and modify these so we have a model that accurately reflects you farm.

Part 3.  SFS will calculate and then impose different climate scenarios on the farm model to produce the impact on profit from predicted climate change.  We will discuss these results with you one on one.

Part 4.  An optional group workshop where possible changes are discussed with other farmers.

To register you interest contact:

Tahlia Ferguson, SFS, E: M: 0418 462 967


Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural, E: or M: 0417 311 098

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