Understanding weather patterns helps adaption

Climate experts are more confident about higher temperatures under climate change than they are about what the weather might do at your place in 10 days’ time.

Agriculture Victoria climate specialist Graeme Anderson said climate change would bring challenges but also offered opportunities for farmers and businesses that were well-prepared.

Mr Anderson, who leads the Agriculture Victoria seasonal risk and climate team, will be one of the speakers at a Building Climate Resilience event at the Birchip Public Hall on October 29.

Mr Anderson said he would share some of the latest science on climate and his key “penny drop moments” from working in agricultural science, extension and practice change for three decades – with a focus on improving the climate literacy of farmers in the past 15 years.

“I’ll also share some of the key things successful farm operators do to have them set up to grow their business as they adapt,” he said.

“The better we understand what’s going on with our weather patterns, the better we can then get on with agriculture and make decisions that leave us better off in future.

“Seasonal variability and climate change operate as a tag team. Whatever unfolds in future, it will require farms and businesses that are well set up to manage business volatility, with well-connected networks to people who can offer solutions along the journey.”

Mr Anderson said adapting to the impacts of climate change would require an “all hands on deck” approach.

“At its heart this is a people issue,” he said.

“Farmers, service providers, researchers and industry will all be working together to learn as we go and developing solutions to tackle this together in the coming decades.” 

Mr Anderson’s team produces seasonal forecasts and climate webinars, monitors the Soil Moisture Probe network and has addressed more than 100 rural forums in the past year.

The event will include keynote speeches from political journalist and author of ‘Rusted Off: Why country Australia is fed up’, Gabrielle Chan, and Australian National University Climate Change Institute director and joint Nobel Peace Prize winner, Professor Mark Howden.

Other speakers will provide updates on the climate outlook, risk, and regional responses to drought.

The afternoon program offers workshops on a wide range of topics, including diversification, farming and small business innovation, technology, improving connectivity, and opportunities in energy and environmental services.

Entry to all sessions is free, but registrations are essential for catering purposes.

More information is available at www.bcg.org.au/events

The Building Climate Resilience event is a joint initiative of the Buloke Shire Council, Birchip Cropping Group, North Central Catchment Management Authority and Mallee Catchment Management Authority, with funding through the Federal Government’s Drought Communities Program.

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