Australian Farmers and Climate Change Adaptation

by MWB News | Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 | 200 views

Australian farmer smiling and ready to workThe years 2016 to 2017 have been a marvellous time for Australian farmers as they have generated record profits, production, and exports. Good weather, especially the wet winter last 2016, largely brought outstanding produce for chief crops in Australia with the use of farm machinery. However, these great conditions go against the lasting trend. Based on the CSIRO modelling, climate change has lowered possible Australian wheat yields by nearly 27 percent since 1990.

Impact on Farm Productivity

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) published a study recently that confirms the negative effect. It states that climate change will have a damaging impact on crop farms’ productivity rate, especially in south-eastern and south-western Australia.

Overall, the cropping zone has drier inland parts. These areas have been more profoundly affected, mostly because these are more delicate to decline in rainfall. Meanwhile, smaller impacts have happened in wetter areas near the coast. This is where less rain will have little effect, and it can even boost crop productivity.

Farmers are Reacting

Fortunately, a study reveals that Australian farmers are adapting well to climate change and the recent growth in productivity proves this. Over the past ten years, crop farms have lowered climate variability exposure and enhanced productivity throughout dry settings.

Circumstantial evidence states that winter crop farms have made an array of developments over the past ten years. This includes taking advantage of soil moisture during the summer period. During the 2000s, conservation tillage was probably the most evident change witnessed in the industry. They left all or some of the residue of a previous crop, like wheat stubble, when planting a new crop.

It appears that farmers are adjusting well to these new seasonal rainfall trends, which means more rain in summer and less in winter for cropping farms.  Though climate change presents challenges to Australian farmers, signs also show they are ready to face these challenges head-on.

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