Climate Risk Management Matrices (Cropping)

Agriculture (particularly cropping) is a significant land use across the Central Slopes.  Agricultural productivity is affected by climate change through higher temperatures; changes in the amount, intensity, seasonality and variability of rainfall; and changes in the frequency and/or intensity of extreme events such as droughts, bushfires and floods.

Climate change poses significant challenges for the region’s agricultural industries. This project aims to articulate the specific risks to wheat, sorghum and mixed cropping using the Climate Risk Management Matrix approach. This approach was developed by Cobon et al. (2009) for the grazing industry and adapted by Deuter et al. (2014) for horticulture to capture existing information and knowledge to provide a basis for future discussions on managing climate risk with primary producers, policy makers and resource managers.

Industry and regional bodies need to know which areas within the Central Slopes are likely to be suitable for growing current, and potential new crops under the future climate projected for the region. This includes identifying the production changes and/or adaptation interventions that will have the greatest potential to improve on-farm profitability and sustainability.

This work is a first pass assessment to identify the sources of risk and adaptation strategies from the literature and expert opinion.  It was undertaken as a desktop review. Regional NRM bodies may use it to support landholder assumptions and build shared knowledge and agree to a way forward.  It may also identify critical gaps where further investments in research would be beneficial. 

With the Central Slopes covering cropping lands from Dalby to Dubbo and recognising changes in climate, soil characteristics and topography across that region, local information, knowledge and context should be considered where possible when developing any adaptation strategies. 

As a result of the potential climate changes there may be some areas where land uses other than cropping may need to be pursued.  Sequestration opportunities in these areas could be flagged for consideration.

Primary producers are already accustomed to dealing with a highly variable climate. However, new risk management and adaptation strategies will gain importance as the climate changes. This project will assist with the identification and evaluation of these strategies.



Detailed Descriptions
Fact sheet, Dataset
Geographic and Temporal Extents
Namoi, Border Rivers-Gwydir, North West (NSW), Central West, Condamine, Border Rivers Maranoa-Balonne
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Attributions and Constraints
This information is provided to support community and industry engagement related to options for climate adaptation. The options identified are general in nature and any specific advice for an enterprise should be discussed with extension staff and financial advisors. USQ does not accept any liability for the decisions made or not made as a result of this information.
University of Southern Queensland
David Cobon, David McRae, Geoff Cockfield, Lynne Turner
Cobon, D.; McRae, D.; Cockfield, G.; Turner, L.; Willams, A. and Power, B. (2014) Climate Risk Management Matrices for Cropping. USQ
Lynne Turner (