SFF Project Summary

Sustainable production in Marlborough's variable climate

Project Title: Sustainable production in Marlborough's variable climate
Grant No.: 00/337

Contact Details

Name of Applicant Group: Marlborough Sustainable Primary Production Group
Contact Person: Ian Blair
Address: Marlborough Primary Production Group
PO Box 44
Telephone 1: 03 577 5196
Telephone 2:
Email: i.blair@clear.net.nz

Project Details

Status: finished
SFF Funding: 99,945
Total Project Funding: 175,611
Proposed Start Date: 2001-01
Proposed Finish Date: 2004-01
Region: Marlborough
Sector: Pastoral
Sub-sector: Sheep
Topic: Climate change
Decision management and support

1. Project Description:

The implementation and demonstration of systems of sustainable pastoral and arable farming within Marlborough's dryland climate by using predictive pasture modelling based on soil moisture analysis as a management tool to identify sustainable farming systems. This is based on:

A) N1WA supplied 6-12 weeks climate trend outlooks for rainfall and temperature.

B) Soil moisture monitoring on 2 current Marlborough District Council sites and up to 20 strategic farm sites.

C) Predicting 8 - 12 week future plant and crop growth based on climate outlooks and the current levels of soil moisture in relation to pasture and crop demands.

D) StockPol farm production modelling according to developing seasonal conditions.

2. Problem/opportunity that the project is addressing:

The programme is based upon monitoring climatic data which affects pastoral or crop growth. The key categories are rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil temperatures, mean day temperature and solar radiation. These components are combined in the computer model to reflect current soil moisture conditions and the onset and recovery of/from drought.

3. Progress to date:

The monitor systems are in place and the computer model is operational. The whole system is based on a decade of historical Marlborough climatic data. The success of the programme is closely related to being able to compare current conditions alongside the historical model.

4. Hyper-links to web pages relating to your project:

The updated weekly data is available on the Marlborough District Council web site at: www.marlborough.govt.nz  If hyper-links are required, it is best to contact Stuart Sergeant on e-mail: ssa@marlborough.govt.nz . Stuart is the Marlborough District Council's System Administrator.