SOUTHERN Grampians Shire Council is researching how agriculture in the region can be diversified.
With 80 per cent of land in the shire used for agriculture, the council wants to explore new opportunities suitable for the region.
Changing weather patterns in the past 20 years have already altered the shire’s land use, most notably with cropping moving south of traditional growing areas.
The council, in partnership with the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, hopes the research will provide an understanding of the likely effects of climate change and identify new activities to adapt to the changes.
The project is funded by the state government under the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership which provides grants for work on climate change adaptation and sustainability projects.
Council CEO Richard Perry said the project provided an opportunity to bring together all the information required to assist farmers and investors in diversifying land use.
“It will empower our rural producers and future investors in adapting their farming practices on a proactive basis that respond to both the opportunities and challenges change brings,” Mr Perry said.
Deakin University has been engaged for data collection, evaluation, modelling and mapping.
The project will produce maps showing land use capability based on soil, water, topography and present and likely future climatic conditions.