Some primary producers are more likely to transform their agricultural practices in response to climate change than others

Marshall, Nadine A., Crimp, Steve, Curnock, Matt, Greenhill, Murni, Kuehne, Geoff, Leviston, Zoe, and Ouzman, Jackie (2016) Some primary producers are more likely to transform their agricultural practices in response to climate change than others. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 222. pp. 38-47.

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Abstract

Climate change is altering the productivity of natural resources with far-reaching implications for agriculture. In some instances, the scale and nature of the likely impacts means that transformations of function or structure of agriculture and/or agricultural enterprises will be required if communities dependent on agriculture are to be sustained. However, industry-wide transformations are unlikely to be supported unless individual primary producers have sufficient capacity to undergo transformational change. We look at: (i) the extent to which primary producers in Australia would be willing to transform, (ii) the extent that transformational capacity is likely to exist within producers, and (iii) the common attributes of producers with high levels of transformational capacity. We conducted a telephone survey of 195 primary producers (response rate 59%) across livestock, cropping and mixed enterprises across five national transects on the Australian continent with a high to low rainfall gradient. About half of the sample (55%) suggested that their land would be suitable for diversification and 45% would consider land-use change. These producers were more likely to come from a dry region rather than a wet region, came from an already mixed production enterprise, were more likely to irrigate and have completed university or a trade. These producers were also more likely to have a higher transformational capacity, particularly in their level of interest in adapting to the future. Across our sample, 23% had high levels of transformational capacity, whilst nearly half (45%) had either low or extremely low capacity to implement such change. Producers with a higher capacity were more likely to have a mixed enterprise, an internal locus of control, and higher levels of trust in networks, government, researchers, and agronomists and in self. Our results provide some important insights into what makes some producers more successful or able to transform than others. Investment in the capacity of producers to transform is likely to be an effective strategy to support Australian agriculture in the face of climate change.

Item ID: 49265
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Social resilience, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, trust, resource dependency, diversification, transformation
ISSN: 1873-2305
Funders: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAW), Climate Adaptation Flagship, CSIRO
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 05:50
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 100%
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