Adaptation and grains RD&E: Tanya Robinson at the Master Class
Tanya Robinson is a project manager at the Grains Research and Development Corporation. She is one of 20 young leaders participating in PIARN Master Class program, and she provided this account of her experiences following the Master Class sessions to date.
By attending the first two Master Class sessions in Eyre Peninsula and Canberra, it has become obvious that farmers have the ability to adapt to a changing climate through management decisions made on a day by day and year by year basis. This is especially so in the grains industry when farm management decisions such as choosing a crop or variety are made annually based on predicted seasons and market information.
More often than not, these strategic and tactical (shorter term) decisions are made intuitively according to the season at hand and not as a result of a specific on farm adaptation plan. Communication to growers about how they are already adapting may help ease some of the fear or disassociation that comes with the term ‘climate change’.
Another observation was that, as someone working within a research and development corporation and influencing investment in RDE, it was worrying to see how policy can be so targeted to particular outcomes. Over time the ‘agendas’ of policy tend to lead to more reactionary research targeted at meeting specific funding opportunities. As a result, research may shift away from what should be the real focus – meeting growers needs. I hope that I can act within my organisation to make sure that what we are funding and the messages we are delivering are a result of what growers need, rather than as a response to a policy requirement.
Read more about the Canberra Master Class.