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Processing Tomato Production in the Burdekin: Opportunities and Risks for Growers

White, Neil and Jovicich, Elio (2012) Processing Tomato Production in the Burdekin: Opportunities and Risks for Growers. Project Report. Qld Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. (Submitted)

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Abstract

The research undertaken here was in response to a decision by a major food producer in about 2009 to consider establishing processing tomato production in northern Australia. This was in response to a lack of water availability in the Goulburn Valley region following the extensive drought that continued until 2011. The high price of water and the uncertainty that went with it was important in making the decision to look at sites within Queensland. This presented an opportunity to develop a tomato production model for the varieties used in the processing industry and to use this as a case study along with rice and cotton production.
Following some unsuccessful early trials and difficulties associated with the Global Financial Crisis, large scale studies by the food producer were abandoned. This report uses the data that was collected prior to this decision and contrasts the use of crop modelling with simpler climatic analyses that can be undertaken to investigate the impact of climate change on production systems.
Crop modelling can make a significant contribution to our understanding of the impacts of climate variability and climate change because it harnesses the detailed understanding of physiology of the crop in a way that statistical or other analytical approaches cannot do. There is a high overhead, but given that trials are being conducted for a wide range of crops for a variety of purposes, breeding, fertiliser trials etc., it would appear to be profitable to link researchers with modelling expertise with those undertaking field trials. There are few more cost-effective approaches than modelling that can provide a pathway to understanding future climates and their impact on food production.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Funders:Australian Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General)
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm economics. Farm management. Agricultural mathematics
Deposited On:29 Apr 2013 04:52
Last Modified:08 Jun 2015 16:00

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