Warming climate not kind to crops in north

Global warming has the potential to significantly affect Australia's northern grains region, according to computer simulations carried out by University of Queensland Gatton College agronomy and climatology lecturer Col Birch. Plant development could accelerate and yields decline.

Dr Birch modelled the effects of a warmer climate on wheat and sorghum grown in a range of locations across Queensland and northern NSW and found that even modest changes in temperature would have implications. He said significant yield impact could be expected with a temperature increase of as little as 2 degrees, with wheat more affected by climate warming than sorghum. Adjustments would need to be made to varieties and agronomic practices such as the time of planting. "Under an ideal scenario, changes could be made in time to head off losses, but the message is that a changing environment has implications which the grains industry needs to be aware of, " Dr Birch said.

Dr Col Birch 07 5460 1492

Region North