Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the Granite Belt tomato industry to future increases in temperature
A project funded by the Queensland Government in 2010 sought to improve the capacity of primary producers in selected horticultural industries to manage risks and identify opportunities arising from QueenslandRSQUOs changing and variable climate. Tomato growers in the Granite Belt in south-east Queensland documented their vulnerability to climate change, adaptation options and economically evaluated risk management responses in the supply of fresh tomatoes. The production and quality of field grown tomatoes is significantly reduced when mean monthly maximum temperatures exceed 29°C two weeks prior to flowering. Granite Belt tomato growers who took part in this extensive series of interactive climate awareness workshops were presented with (best knowledge) future climate scenarios for their Granite Belt production location. Once aware of the Tomato plants intrinsic high temperature flowering threshold they concluded that the possibility of reaching this threshold was unlikely in the medium term (i.e. by 2030). Granite Belt summer tomato production has evolved in a unique high altitude region, where mean maximum monthly temperature, both current and projected, does not exceed the maximum temperature threshold above which tomato crop yield is reduced. Growers understand that their unique high altitude location gives them a production advantage, and that their industry will benefit from projected future temperature changes. Granite Belt growers now have a better understanding of the impact of climate variables on tomato production through increased knowledge which they applied using the Horticulture Vulnerability Matrix. Discussion of projected future climate impacts and the populating of this Vulnerability Matrix was a major focus of each workshop session, and allowed growers to increase their knowledge, identify areas of vulnerability and document adaptation options necessary to build industry resilience.
Deuter, P.L., Carey, D., Zull, A. and McGrath, C. (2016). Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the Granite Belt tomato industry to future increases in temperature. Acta Hortic. 1123, 171-176
vulnerability matrix, climate change impacts, risk assessment, risk management, summer tomato production, critical temperature thresholds, climate variables