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Relocation of Intensive Agriculture to Northern Queensland The Cotton Industry

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White, N., Mushtaq, S., Cockfield, G. and Power, B. (2012) Relocation of Intensive Agriculture to Northern Queensland The Cotton Industry. Project Report. State of Queensland.

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Development of new agricultural industries in northern Australia is often perceived as a solution to changes in water availability that have occurred within southern Australia as a result of changes to government policy in response to and exacerbated by climate change. This report examines the likely private, social and community costs and benefits associated with the establishment of a cotton industry in the Burdekin.
The research undertaken covers three spatial scales by modelling the response of cotton and to climate change at the crop and farm scale and linking this to regional scale modelling of the economy. Modelling crop growth as either a standalone crop or as part of a farm enterprise provides the clearest picture of how yields and water use will be affected under climate change. The alternative to this is to undertake very costly trials in environmental chambers. For this reason it is critical that funding for model development especially for crops being crop in novel environments be seen as a high priority for climate change and adaptation studies.
Crop level simulations not only provide information on how the crop responds to climate change, they also illustrate that that these responses are the result of complex interactions and cannot necessarily be derived from the climate information alone. These simulations showed that climate change would lead to decreased cotton yields in 2030 and 2050 without the affect of CO2 fertilisation. Without CO2 fertilisation, yields would be decreased by 3.2% and 17.8%. Including CO2 fertilisation increased yields initially by 5.9%, but these were reduced by 3.6% in 2050. This still represents a major offset and at least ameliorates the impact of climate change on yield. To cope with the decreased in-crop rainfall (4.5% by 2030 and 15.8% in 2050) and an initial increase in evapotranspiration of 2% in 2030 and a 10% decrease in 2050, irrigation was increased by 47.4% and 48.7% in order to maintain a 65%.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm economics. Farm management. Agricultural mathematics
Live Archive:29 Apr 2013 04:54
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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