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Beyond the Bale : September 2012
of high productivity within the landscape and the animals displayed a preference for areas dominated by higher quality pasture species such as Microlaena and tended to avoid areas dominated by lower quality pasture species, such as Wallaby grass, Austrostipa and common wheat grass." As well as acknowledging AWI for providing a scholarship, Ms Cox said her studies involved a collaboration of industry research organisations. "The plethora of resources, knowledge, assistance, encouragement and wisdom provided by my supervisors Professor David Kemp and Dr Gaye Krebs at Charles Sturt University, and NSW Department of Primary Industries research agronomist Dr Warwick Badgery based at the Orange Agricultural Institute, was invaluable," she said. Ms Cox's thesis was also funded by the Future Farm Industries CRC and the A W Howard Memorial Foundation. Ms Cox hopes to continue to work within the wool and other agricultural industries in either a research or extension capacity and in the short term publish and present the major findings of her thesis in scientific journals and conferences. ON-FARM 29 September 2012 BEYOND THE BALE NSW Department of Primary Industries research agronomist, Dr Warwick Badgery discusses ryegrass pasture with EverGraze Regional Group member and Mandurama farmer, John Rowlands and Felicity Cox during a field day at the Panuara EverGraze site, near Orange. CREDIT: Bernadette York, NSW DPI FAST FACTS lThe Southern Livestock Adaptation 2030 project seeks to give livestock producers and industry a better understanding of potential futures under a variable climate. l The project has demonstrated that relatively small temperature and rainfall changes can have big impacts on farm profitability, especially if farms don't adapt to the changes. l The best adaptation strategies or practices are already known to many producers and are as applicable today as they will be in the future. Adapting to climate variability production and farm profitability. The project modelled impacts out to 2030 and beyond. Various management strategies (adaptations) were then modelled, to see what works and what doesn't AWI Program Manager, Environment, Climate Change and Carbon, Gus Manatsa, says the SLA 2030 project is not about trying to predict the future, but rather about giving producers the information needed to better prepare for longer term uncertainties. "We are looking to help farmers think about the future, and to become aware that there are tools and people who can help explore that uncertainty, and help prepare for it," Mr Manatsa said. "For the first time though, we have been able to quantify what impact a changing Information generated from the ground- breaking Southern Livestock Adaptation 2030 (SLA 2030) project aims to help livestock (sheep, beef and dairy) producers quantify the potential impacts of a variable climate on production and profitability. While no one can accurately predict the future, it makes strategic sense for the livestock industry to "peer over the horizon" and examine the "what ifs" of future climate scenarios. Until now, we have not been able to tackle these questions, but the recent SLA 2030 project funded by AWI, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has enabled us to do that. The project looked at a range of future climate predictions and considered how changes in temperature, rainfall and CO2 levels might impact livestock Continued overleaf...