Apple farmers have begun adapting techniques to suit climate changes such as unseasonal frosts, longer droughts, increased summer heat and more intense pests.
- Air temperatures greatly influence the quality of apples.
- The region has seen a 1.2-1.4 degree temperature rise since the 1950s.
- Reduction of winter chill has a particularly severe impact on apples.
- 18 of the past 21 winters have seen above average temperatures.
- Rainfall directly influences the time of harvest, which can negatively impact the fruit.
- 8 of the last 10 years have been below average rainfall.
- The region has seen 100-200mm reduction in rainfall since the 1950s.
- Apples are projected to continue to see changes in taste and texture.
- Apples may also be impacted by an increase of agricultural pests.
- These factors can lead to a price increase.
- In 2017/8 Victoria produced 140,000 tonnes of apples, part of a $519 million national industry.
- Many apple growing regions are likely to become too hot in the future for viable production.
What can be done?
- Email your local MP and tell them that action on climate is important to you and explain the impacts being felt in your area. One email might not feel like much but most politicians consider it to be representative of 100 citizens.
- Help support the Act on Climate collective by donating; we are leading the charge for climate action. Your donation helps in advancing policies that prevent climate change from getting worse, we aim to empower communities and build a strong pro-climate-action constituency that governments can’t ignore, and as an added bonus it’s tax-deductable.
- Get involved with Act on Climate. We meet every Monday at 6pm (upstairs at 312 Smith St, Collingwood) and welcome all newcomers to join in the fight for climate justice. If you are unable to attend, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest campaign.
* We aim to keep our material as accurate and as relevant as possible. Working with climate science, a field that is being constantly updated, keeps us on our toes. Information on this site was gathered on June 1 2019; if you notice information that needs updating please let us know. For the full reference list please see the following.
Toshihiko Sugiura et al., “Changes in the Taste and Textural Attributes of Apples in Response to Climate Change,” Scientific reports3 (2013).1.
Victoria State Government, “Climate-Ready Victoria: Hume,” (Melbourne2015).2, https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/60745/Hume.pdf
Fernando Ramírez and Jose Kallarackal, Responses of Fruit Trees to Global Climate Change(Springer, 2015).31.
“Australian Climate Change Site Data – Rutherglen”, Bureau of Meteorology, access April 23 2019, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=maxT&area=aus&station=082039&dtype=anom&period=winter&ave_yr=0
Ramírez and Kallarackal, Responses of Fruit Trees to Global Climate Change.35.
“Australian Climate Change Site Data – Whitlands (Burder’S Lane)”, Bureau of Meteorology, access April 23 2019, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=rain&area=aus&station=083032&dtype=anom&period=annual&ave_yr=0
Government, “Climate-Ready Victoria: Hume.”2. https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/60745/Hume.pdf
Sugiura et al., “Changes in the Taste and Textural Attributes of Apples in Response to Climate Change.”1.
Linda J Thomson, Sarina Macfadyen, and Ary A Hoffmann, “Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on Natural Enemies of Agricultural Pests,” Biological control52, no. 3 (2010).303.
Hort Innovation, “Australian Hoticulture Statistics Handbook,” (Sydney: Horticulture Innovation Australia, 2017/18).47-57.
G Thomson et al., “Potential Impacts of Rising Global Temperatures on Australia’s Pome Fruit Industry and Adaptation Strategies,” New Zealand journal of crop and horticultural science42, no. 1 (2014).21.