Policy Guidance Brief: Adapting agriculture to climate change
Agriculture, in its business-as-usual mode, is by its nature very adaptive. Therefore, climate change presents both challenges (biosecurity threats, reduced productivity) and opportunities (business diversity, new crop types and varieties) for the industry. This factsheet deals with adapting Australia’s agriculture to climate change, especially broadacre farming, and is based mainly, but not exclusively, on experiences in southern South Australia. It outlines the key needs to support future adaptation in this sector: (i) education and extension, (ii) good science as a basis for policy-making, (iii) improved seasonal weather predictions at a regional and district level, and (iv) policy certainty and adaptability. The ongoing role of the government in the creation of an information-rich industry is also highlighted, in particular through: (i) extension and education to ensure the best possible knowledge supports evidence-based decision making by farmers, (ii) supporting networks to build industry-wide knowledge and skills, and (iii) maintaining corporate knowledge in the industry.
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