Title : Long term implications of climate change on crop planning: Predictions and planning models
The effects of climate change have been much speculated on in the past few years. Consequently, there has been intense interest in one of its key issues of food security into the future. This is particularly so given population increase, urban encroachment on arable land, and the degradation of the land itself. Recently, work has been done on predicting precipitation and temperature for the next few decades as well as developing optimisation models for crop planning. Combining these together, this talk examines the work that my group is engaged in: determining the effects of climate change on large food producing regions in the next five decades, as well as to provide practical modes and planning tools that can be used by farmers and regional planners. Part of this is a continuous, multi-year planning model has just been developed which also extends the frontiers of optimisation science. In this talk, a case study for the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in Australia’s food bowl, is given. In particular, an examination of how time crop mixes will need to change to adapt for the effects of climate change, is made. It is found that sustainable crop choices will change into the future, and that large-scale irrigated agriculture may become unviable in the region in all but the wettest years.