Impact of Increased Climate Variability on Australian Feedlots

Nigel Perkins et al. - Meat & Livestock Australia

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

This research article looks at the impact of increased climate variability on Australian feedlots. There will be an ongoing rise in the risk of excessive heat load events.

What is the problem?

Climate scientists are predicting changes to climate that may have considerable impacts on feedlots. Scientists predict increasing temperature, variation in the amount and intensity of rainfall, changing humidity, solar radiation and other aspects of climate.

This project aimed:

  • To understand future climate scenarios for the five major feedlot regions of Australia to 2050

What did the research involve?

  • Selection of five representative feedlot locations: Caroona (N. NSW), Comet (C. Qld), Dalby (S. Qld), Leeton (C. NSW and Narrogin, SW. WA)
  • Generation of predicted climate-change data files for each selected location.
  • Generation of historic (observed) climate data for the selected locations
  • Completion of preliminary validation assessment of the predicted climate-change data files
  • Completion of analyses to assess impacts of predicted climate data in the two modelling systems.


What were the key findings?

  • Some locations showed consistent changes in rainfall. Comet and Narrogin showed a decline in average rainfall that appeared to get progressively worse from historic to 2010-2049 and then to 2050-2099.
  • Dalby and Leeton also showed a decline in rainfall over time that was less obvious than Comet and Narrogin.
  • No difference in overtopping rate over time at Comet and Dalby, suggesting that current approaches to determining pond dimensions are likely to be appropriate for the foreseeable future.
  • Substantial decline in pond overtopping rates at Leeton and Narrogin over time.
  • Considerable variation in heat load risk between the five different locations and the three different scenarios.
  • Progressive rise in predicted daily water intake from historic to 2010-49 periods and again to the 2050-99 period at each location, though the amount of the rise varied between locations and scenarios.
2015 - Australia - Nigel Perkins et al. - Meat & Livestock Australia
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