The spatial response of water-limited wheat yield to historical climate change across Western Australia since 1900

Chao Chen1, Andrew L. Fletcher1, Noboru Ota1, Roger A. Lawes1, Yvette M. Oliver1

1 CSIRO Agriculture and Food, PMB 5 Wembley, WA 6913,,


Climate change has affected crop yield potential in major rain-fed crop growing regions in Australia, including Western Australia (WA). Understanding changes in potential crop production due to past climate change can help guide the adaptation of cropping systems to future climate change. However, the spatial response of water-limited yield potential to historical climate change across the wheatbelt of WA is unclear. This research used APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator) to simulate and map the spatial-temporal changes in water-limited wheat yield potential on ~5 km × ~5 km climate grids for 117 years (1900-2016) across WA. Observed decreases in rainfall resulted in a shift in the regional pattern of wheat yield potential towards the southwest by 70 km. Future climate change is likely to continue to impact water-limited wheat yield and its spatial pattern in WA. Cropping systems will need to continually evolve to cope with a changing climate, requiring improvements in every aspect of agronomy and genetics.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

© 2015 - 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd