Future distribution of cotton and wheat in Australia under potential climate change

Farzin Shabani, B Kotey - The Journal of Agricultural Science pages 1 - 11

Farm Table says:

This future projection can prove useful for other crops as well.

What is the problem?

The present study applies refined and improved scenarios for climate change to quantify the effects of potential alterations in climatic factors on localities for wheat and cotton production, which are two crops important to Australia’s economy.

What did the research involve?

The future distributions of Gossypium (cotton) and Triticum aestivum L. (wheat) were modelled using CLIMEX software with the A2 emission scenario generated by CSIRO-Mk3·0 and MIROC-H global climate models. The results were correlated to identify areas suitable for these economically important crops for the years 2030, 2050, 2070 and 2100 in Australia.

What were the key findings?

The analysis shows that the areas where wheat and cotton can be grown in Australia will diminish from 2030 to 2050 and 2070 through to 2100. While cotton can be grown over extensive areas of the country until 2070, the area grown to wheat will decrease significantly over the period.

Final comment

The distribution maps presented in the study provide information useful for the long-term planning of the cultivation of Gossypium and T. aestivum L. in the areas projected to become suitable, with strategic shifts in production away from areas projected to become unsuitable. The two species can be replaced with more suitable crops and broad diversification of the economic base undertaken to enhance economic activity and maintain the populations in rural Australia.

2015 - Farzin Shabani, B Kotey - The Journal of Agricultural Science pages 1 - 11
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