How Australian Farmers Have Adapted to Climate Change

Australia and its agricultural industry have certainly felt the effects of climate change. However, farmers on this island nation have begun dealing with the changes in the weather using some creative techniques, with moderate success.

During this past year, the Australian farming industry chalked up a record in terms of crop production, which translated into record profits. This was a reversal in the downward trend in agricultural yields that the country began experiencing in the early 1990s. It was during this period that wheat production alone in Australia declined by some 25 percent. Based on available evidence, this reduction was directly attributable to rising temperatures that are an element of global climate change. More information about the effect of climate change on the Australian agricultural industry is available at

Some observers have credited the recent turnaround to changes made by Australian farmers in response to the climatic changes. Dealing with such changes can in some cases involve the mere location where the farming is conducted. This is because drier areas that are farther inland have in recent years experienced less rainfall. In wetter areas, such a reduction can be beneficial to crop growth. This type of adaptation is illustrated by the expanded production of grapes on the Australian island state of Tasmania.

Other changes have been procedural in nature. One new technique is known as conservation tillage, in which new crops are planted without removing the residue of the previous harvest. Additionally, farmers have altered their plans in order to take advantage of the moisture that remains in the soil after summer, which has begun to experience greater precipitation than the winter months. Such new growing methods represent a change from the past, when farmers concentrated on increasing production when the conditions were good. Unfortunately, this philosophy cost them dearly during periods of drought. These new techniques and a particularly wet winter have together been credited for the success rate of Australian farmers during the past year.

However, continued success is not guaranteed, especially when considering that the growing conditions may worsen in the coming years. Although their methods have allowed many Australian farmers to remain profitable, they will need newer techniques and perhaps some good blessings if they want to maintain their businesses in the future.


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