Dookie Diary: Rain, rain, come again

In his latest column, Dookie Professor in Residence Timothy Reeves explores how rainfall has changed over time, and adaptations to a drier climate.

Professor Reeves writes the Dookie Diary column in the Country News to share news about the teaching, research and people at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie agricultural campus. Country News is distributed with newspapers in the Goulburn Valley and Southern Riverina regions.

This month, he focuses on rainfall records for the region, where rain-fed farming systems are under stress despite recent rain.

“The period from 1945 until around the 1990s/2000 was the wettest since records began in 1885, and farming methods and systems developed during this period are no longer suitable for the drying trend we are now experiencing,” he writes.

“Seasonal rainfall distribution has also changed markedly in the past 25 years, with substantial reductions in autumn and winter rain.”

Professor Reeves also profiles Dookie campus sustainable agriculture lecturer Dr Dorin Gupta’s research into drought stress tolerance and a panel on how climate change is affecting wine vintages, with grapes ripening an average of one day earlier per year for the last 25 years.

Read the full column on the Country News website.

Banner image: Dr Dorin Gupta in a Dookie campus glasshouse.