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Booborowie – Southern Livestock Adaptation 2030

Booborowie

Using producers’ own production and financial data from Booborowie Hills in the Mid North of SA, modelling was initially undertaken to assess pasture and livestock production, and enterprise profitability for two prior periods (1970-1999 and 2000-2008) to ensure the models were performing correctly. Modelling was then performed looking ahead to 2030, using 4 different climate scenarios.

A merino ewe enterprise was examined on the hills and on the flats in this area:

Weather predictions & pasture production – Booborowie hills

Projected weather for the four 2030 scenarios and the impact on pasture production are shown below

Please note that average temperature at this location is average maximum temperature

Booborowie Table - 1

Key findings

  • Compared to 1970-1999, over the period 2000-2008 rainfall was 8% lower, average maximum temperature showed no change and pasture production was 7% lower
  • For 2030:
    • The temperature increases are consistent (+5%) but forecast rainfall is slightly more variable ranging from a +3% to -14%, and averaging a 5% reduction.
    • On average, there is a 15% decrease in annual pasture production (range -2% to -28%)

Weather predictions & pasture production – Booborowie flats

Projected weather for the four 2030 scenarios and the impact on pasture production are shown below

Booborowie Table - 2

Key findings

  • Percentage changes in pasture production for the flats were very similar to the hills for all periods – 1970-1999, 2000-2008 and for 2030; although absolute production was much higher on the flats as expected.

Livestock & Financial Impacts, and Adaptations

Using the modelled pasture production figures, the impacts on livestock production and farm profitability were then calculated. Such impacts were initially based on a “business as usual” case i.e. no adaptations (changes to farm management practices) were made.

Then, by discussing these predicted results with farmers, a series of possible adaptations were agreed to and modelled. These adaptations were assessed for their ability (either individually or in combination) to help reduce the impact of climate change on livestock production and farm profitability.

To see the ‘business as usual’ impacts for the flats and hill country at Booborowie for a Merino ewe enterprises, please click on: