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Modelling the resilience of forage crop production to future climate change in the dairy regions of Southeastern Australia using APSIM


Pembleton, KG and Cullen, BR and Rawnsley, RP and Harrison, MT and Ramilan, T, Modelling the resilience of forage crop production to future climate change in the dairy regions of Southeastern Australia using APSIM, Journal of Agricultural Science, 154, (7) pp. 1131-1152. ISSN 0021-8596 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0021859615001185


A warmer and potentially drier future climate is likely to influence the production of forage crops on dairy farms in the southeast dairy regions of Australia. Biophysical modelling was undertaken to explore the resilience of forage production of individual forage crops to scalar increases in temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and changes in daily rainfall. The model APSIM was adapted to reflect species specific responses to growth under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. It was then used to simulate 40 years of production of forage wheat, oats, annual ryegrass, maize grown for silage, forage sorghum, forage rape and alfalfa grown at three locations in southeast Australia with increased temperature scenarios (1, 2, 3 and 4 癈 of warming) and atmospheric CO2 concentration (435, 535, 640 and 750 ppm) and decreasing rainfall scenarios (10, 20 or 30% less rainfall). At all locations positive increases in DM yield compared with the baseline climate scenario were predicted for lucerne (2򉷫32% increase), wheat (8򊲩74% increase), oats (6򈕉59% increase) and annual ryegrass (9򊋔67% increase) under all future climate scenarios. The response of forage rape and forage sorghum varied between location and climate change scenario. At all locations, maize was predicted to have a minimal change in yield under all future climates (between a 26% increase and a 68% decrease). The future climate scenarios altered the seasonal pattern of forage supply for wheat, oats and lucerne with an increase in forage produced during winter. The resilience of forage crops to climate change indicates that they will continue to be an important component of dairy forage production in southeastern Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:APSIM, modelling, climate change, CO2 fertilisation, yield, forage, ryegrass, wheat, sorghum, oats
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Maize
UTAS Author:Pembleton, KG (Dr Keith Pembleton)
UTAS Author:Rawnsley, RP (Dr Richard Rawnsley)
UTAS Author:Harrison, MT (Associate Professor Matthew Harrison)
ID Code:105851
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2016-01-17
Last Modified:2018-03-29

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