Using producers’ own production and financial data from Koppio on the Eyre Peninsula in 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 x Suffolk ram enterprise was examined:
Weather predictions & pasture production
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
- Compared to 1970-1999, over the period 2000-2008 rainfall was 3% lower, average maximum temperature showed no change and pasture production was 10% lower
- For 2030:
- The temperature increases are consistent (+4%) but forecast rainfall is slightly more variable ranging from a +3% to -15%, and averaging an 8% reduction.
- On average, there is a 24% decrease in annual pasture production (range -20% to -32%)
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 at Koppio for a Merino ewe x Suffilok enterprises please click on: