by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : March 24th 2011
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, March 25, 2011 *For Terms & Conditions refer to www.onesteelcyclone.com.au Registered trademark of OneSteel Wire Pty Limited ABN 59 000 010 873. Ingall St, Mayfield NSW 2304. CYC0012/TC. To take advantage of this great offer, get your claim form at www.onesteelcyclone.com.au and return with your proof of purchase to: Cyclone Gate Promotion Offer, PO Box 586, Crows Nest, NSW 1585. BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND. GATES CA$H BACK. Cyclone, the name you know for quality Australian gates, is offering you $10 cash back* on every gate you purchase from March 13th to April 30th 2011. That means if you buy 10 gates you get $100 cash back! Glowering Human activity is at least in part responsible for the fact that the earth is warming, writes Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief Jan Davis THE scientific evidence is convinc- ing. Even if you disagree with the cause, the evidence is that the earth is warming and, for Tasmanian agri- culture, there are significant ramifi- cations. The new order involves not only higher temperatures but also changes to rainfall, wind, evapor- ation and cloud cover and the re- gularity and degree of extreme events such as frosts, floods and heat waves. Scientists working on the Climate Futures for Tasmania project have been studying the impact of climate change on a range of Tasmanian activities, including agriculture and water supplies, and its report was recently published. It details those significant ramifications. The CFT report is compulsory reading for anyone with an eye to the future of farming here. It used a group of global climate models to simulate the Tasmanian climate. Complementary studies assessed the impact of climate change on biosecurity, coastal erosion and en- ergy production. Most global climate modelling has an output at a resolution of 200-300 km. The Tasmanian project was able to focus at 10km, which is unusually close. There are high stakes. The annual farmgate value of Tasmanian crop and livestock production is more than $1.5 billion a year, which is about five per cent of gross state product, the largest GSP proportion of any state. In the wider sense, agriculture's total contribution to the Tasmanian economy is about 16 per cent of gross state product. Using the ''worse'' of two greenhouse gas emission scenarios, the project team concluded that tem- peratures across Tasmania may in- crease by 2.9C by the end of the century. The rise applies to both overnight minimum and daytime maximum temperatures, and is uni- form across the state. This will necessitate farmers reappraising their choice of crops, the time it will take crops to mature, changes to the quality and yield they can expect. Farmers are likely to have to confront more severe weeds, pests and diseases. Therefore, climate change is likely to bring about considerable change in land use and farm management. Because, in addition to tempera- ture rises, farmers face: Potential increased evapotran- spiration driven by changes to cloud cover, relative humidity and solar radiation in summer. A small change in solar radi- ation. Increased relative humidity on the coast but less inland. More intense rainfall, with in creased risk of floods and soil ero- sion. Chill hours decreasing at sites Cabernets and pinots meet as world warms TFGA matters with Jan Davis The stakes are high here. Agriculture contributes about 16 per cent to gross state product. We can't afford to lose the plot. ' MOST will have heard about but few will have read the Climate Futures for Tasmania project report sponsored by the Tasmanian Government, the Commonwealth, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre and Hydro Tasmania. For farmers, it should be compulsory reading, and it's actually very readable. What it concludes is that, as Tasmania warms with climate change, its agriculture will evolve, moving up through the bands of critical temperature. It means it will be able to grow warmer-climate crops but will steadily lose the winter chills and frosts that have made it an ideal place to grow such crops as blackcurrants and pinot noir. Blackcurrants might have to move to higher ground; our pinots will soon rub vines with carbernets. Importantly, from my point of view, new pests, diseases and weeds will threaten our biosecurity. The changes in pests, diseases and weeds mean that biosecurity will become a major issue for Tasmania, notably because it is free of fruit fly, which gives it enormous advantages on overseas markets, particularly in China and Japan. What that means is that the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has to be resourced sufficiently to monitor for fruit fly, and other pests and diseases. I mean increased funding for biosecurity, not skimping. It is too important to be neglected. The Climate Future's modelling superimposed predicted synoptic patterns over the known topography of Tasmania and produced the outlook for the general climate, agriculture, water and extreme events. The results are invaluable for the state's decision-makers, farmers, water and power authorities and planners. In simplistic terms, mainland Australia becomes drier while Tasmania gets more rain as its temperature increases by nearly three degrees by the end of the century. The temperature will not rise as much in Tasmania because it has a maritime climate, in which the Southern Ocean acts as a buffer. Soil and climate scientist Dr Greg Holz says the impacts for Tasmanian agriculture principally revolve around the warmer winters, which reduce the quick chill factor for some plants. That can have significant consequences for their productivity: uneven budburst, uneven flowering, and poor quality fruit. So, in the case of blackcurrants, it means move up the hill or further south. The stakes are high here. Agriculture contributes about 16 per cent to gross state product. We can't afford to lose the plot. Climate change is a matter of constant appraisal and reappraisal; keeping an eye on the signs of change and adapting one's business to the changes as they take emerge. Of course, you can go through life believing that what was good for your parents and your grandparents on the land will be good enough for your children and your grandchildren. It doesn't happen that way any more. It is a matter of gathering information about the topography of your land, assessing where in the Climate Futures template it fits and taking advice on the path ahead. I actually believe this is a good-news story for Tasmanian farmers. We happen to be situated in just the right place to be winners rather than losers from TFGA www.tfga.com.au
March 17th 2011
March 31st 2011