GUEST: Professor Snow Barlow will speak at Wednesday's Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture conference in Stanthorpe.
GUEST: Professor Snow Barlow will speak at Wednesday's Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture conference in Stanthorpe. Jesse Vogelaar

Professor praises climate initiative

AN emeritus professor and Victorian vineyard owner has applauded the Granite Belt's initiative for organising an event highlighting climate risks.

Snow Barlow, an Emeritus Professor of Horticulture and Viticulture at the University of Melbourne, will speak at Wednesday's Managing Climate Risk in Agriculture conference.

"What I'll be talking about is what I've been researching for probably the last 15 years or more and that is the influence of climate change on the wine industry, specifically about how global warming and warming in Australia is bringing forward the harvest dates all around Australia,” he said.

"There are some places, including my own, where we are harvesting a month earlier than we were.”

He said the effects being felt here were being felt right around the globe.

"It's not a matter really whether it's happening but more a matter of what we're going to do about it.”

Professor Barlow is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and in 2009 he was awarded the 'Australian Medal of Agricultural Science'.

He said there were still hurdles in limiting climate risk in viticulture.

"The biggest road blocks are there is probably limits to how much you can change what you do in the vineyard.

"It may lead to changing the variety you grow. Vineyards don't last forever, they do get turned over.”

Professor Barlow has spoken at similar forums before and believes the Stanthorpe community had made a positive step in hosting Queensland's first ever community, producer-based conference.

"I think it's fantastic. How can we address this problem? That's what farmers really want.”

The event will be held at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism from 9am on Wednesday, April 3.

To buy tickets visit www.farmersforclimate action.org.au/events.

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