Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
- Climate change threatens the productivity of Australia’s wheat and sheep industries.
- It reduces the value of historical climate knowledge and increases uncertainty about the bounds of future climates, making farm decisions more complex.
- While Australian farmers are already adapting to a highly variable climate, adapting to significant climate change is a challenge.
What did the research involve?
- A case study of the Lower Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and Upper South East regions of SA.
What were the key findings?
- By 2030, these regions are likely to experience an increase in temperature of at least 0.6°C and a decrease in rainfall of at least 2% (compared to 1980–99 averages).
- By 2070 temperatures could be 1.5–3°C higher and rainfall could be 5–20% lower.
- Predicted wheat yields across South Australia in 2080 could be 5–41% lower if adaptation strategies are not implemented.
- Climate change is likely to have some negative impacts on the South Australian wool and sheep meat industry. These include lower wool production, more heat stress, less reproduction, and lower growth rates.
- Adaptation strategies are available to help wheat and sheep producers offset the negative impacts of climate change. These strategies involve modifying current management practices to reduce the risks associated with climate variability.