What’s next for the New Zealand dairy feed-base? Learnings from climate analogues


  • Sergio Carlos Garcia Sydney University
  • Stuart Kemp PastureWise Pty Ltd
  • Cameron Clark Sydney University
  • Noboru Ota CSIRO
  • Md Islam Sydney University
  • Darren Kriticos CSIRO




climate change, forages, milk, pasture, 'system control'


• The reviewed literature suggests that the likely main impact of climate change on New Zealand dairy systems will be a reduction in total annual rainfall and increased inter- and intra-season rainfall and associated soil moisture variability.
• Future climate analogues for New Zealand’s current dairying regions are provided from both within New Zealand and Australia.
• Future climate scenarios for New Zealand dairy systems can be found within New Zealand with the exception of Northland whose most similar climate analogue is in Australia.
• A conceptual framework to increase the boundaries of the ‘zone of system control’ (ZSC) by the farmer is provided here for the first time. The ZSC is defined as the optimal range for a critical input (rainfall or soil moisture in this case) where productive and profitable farming can occur.
• Risk of failure increases as the frequency inputs fall above (excess) or below (deficit) the ZSC. Options to reduce the risk of system failure (outside of this zone) are provided with emphasis on soil moisture.
• This framework could be used to focus future research and development investment to make the New Zealand and Australian dairy industries more resilient to climate change.






Resilient Pastures Symposium 2021