Published: 2 Oct 2020
Researchers from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) are engaging directly with some of Tasmania's leading red meat producers to help the industry adapt to the challenges of climate change.
The national Nexus project aims to equip livestock producers with information on how climate change will affect their business, so they can make profitable and sustainable decisions into the future.
The collaborative project team includes Farming Systems Modellers, Social Researchers, a Feedbase Scientist, Industry Development and Extension Officer and Farm Economists.
In September the project team held the first Regional Reference Group meeting for the project, which was attended by seven future-focused red meat producers from the North West and Midlands regions, and three service providers along with the project team members from TIA and the University of Melbourne.
TIA Program Lead for Industry Development & Extension, Dr Lydia Turner said the first meeting was instrumental for the project.
“It was a great opportunity to share the project goals and to hear about how producers are already adapting to climate change,” Dr Turner said.
“The virtual Zoom platform allowed presentations and discussions between Melbourne, the East Coast of Tas (where a NW producer was on holiday!) a shearing shed in the Midlands, and homes/farms of other RRG Members.
“We spoke about climate change data and farm experiences and brainstormed potential adaptations to be explored as the project progresses – through biophysical modelling, economic analyses, as well as the social aspects of change.
“Having input from producers is an essential component of the project and will help us to ground-truth the research and ensure we develop relevant recommendation for the wider industry.
“Their insights into livestock production systems, management practices and producer needs are extremely valuable in helping us to determine realistic change opportunities.”
The group is also informing experimental design and industry engagement within TIA’s new Legume project to maximise impact.
The Nexus Project is a three-year project funded through the Livestock Productivity Partnership.
TIA is a Joint Venture of the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.
Image: (Left to Right): Stafford Ives-Heres (RRG Producer), Peter Ball (TIA Industry Development Officer), Lydia Turner (Social Researcher), Alison Hall (Social Researcher), Karen Christie (Climate Modeller), Aiden Coombe (Greenhams Cattle Buyer), Iain Bruce (RRG NW Case Study Farmer).