EverFarm for a changing climate
EverFarm will bring together farming systems developed through FFI CRC research. Photo: FFI CRC
The extent to which perennial plants can help dryland agricultural systems adapt to climate change will be the focus of a new Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FFI CRC) project entitled EverFarm
The project – EverFarm, design of climate adapted perennial-based farming systems for dryland agriculture in southern Australia
– received $250 000 funding from NCCARF (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Fund). FFI CRC will match this amount, making the total budget $500 000.
FFI CRC Research Director Dr John McGrath said the project would use modelling to assess the economic feasibility of climate adapted, dryland agricultural systems based on integrating perennial plants into farm systems.
“Australian agriculture must adapt to climate change,” John said. “At the same time, we must find ways to increase productivity and profitability.”
project will bring together four farming systems that have been developed through Future Farm Industries CRC research. These systems, which incorporate perennial plants into dryland agriculture in southern Australia, are EverGraze
(perennial pasture grazing system), EverCrop
(perennial cropping systems), and New Woody Crops (mallee eucalypts for biofuels and biodiversity).
will assist Australian farmers who are looking for ways to adapt to climate change, while at the same time increasing productivity and profitability.
“We will investigate whole farm designs using different combinations of these four systems in various agricultural regions and assess their capacity to adapt to climate change and support farm profitability. We will also assess other long term benefits of these designs.”
John said the project would be led by agricultural economists Dr Amir Abadi (WA Department of Environment and Conservation) and Dr Bob Farquharson (University of Melbourne).
will assess the economic feasibility for large scale adoption of perennial plants in dryland agricultural systems, which will provide farmers and regional industries with the tools to assess the role of perennials in adapting to climate change,” John said.
“The change required to enable Australian agriculture to adapt to climate change is nothing short of transformational. Combining the knowledge of farming systems with economic analysis skills will enable us to test the role new perennial plant technologies could play in that transformation.”
project will be completed by 28 March 2013.
Contacts: Dr Amir Abadi
(DAFWA) 08 93340321
Dr Bob Farquharson
(University of Melbourne) 03 8344 7390