Agriculture: adapting to a changing climate

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Julia Mayo-Ramsay


Climate change is having a severe effect on agriculture around the world. The seasons are shifting, droughts are increasing, and heavy rains and storms are intensifying. Australia, as a leading agricultural nation, is suffering severely from the impacts of climate change. In the past few decades, Australia has been devastated by prolonged droughts, damaging storms, forest fires, and severe flooding. Farmers, many of who were once sceptical, are now searching for answers. Yet agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change through anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and by converting non-agricultural land such as forests into agricultural land. Land cleared for agriculture and stock can no longer support or sustain the heavy stocking of sheep and cattle it once did. Crops are failing and heavy water use crops, such as cotton and rice, need to be reassessed or shifted to alternate areas. The immense irrigation areas where the bulk of Australian fruit is grown may no longer be sustainable. The tillage of soil and planting of broad-acre crops like barley, wheat, and oats, also needs to be managed differently in the future. If farmers are to remain viable in the next decade and beyond, traditional farming practices need to change, and farmers must find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change. While this may be problematic for some, it also opens exciting new ventures and infinite possibilities. This paper looks at the impact of climate change on Australian agriculture along with possible alternatives such as no-till sowing, hydroponic food production in the desert, and the use of red seaweed supplementation to ruminants in order to help mitigate the challenging years ahead.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mayo-Ramsay, J. (2021). Agriculture: adapting to a changing climate. Journal of Science and Agricultural Technology, 2(1), 1–7.
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