Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent with the most variable climate. Continued variability and projected future changes in climate have the potential to impact on the dairy industry's production and sustainability. The overall impact of warmer and drier climates will vary according to local conditions.
This is why the first of Dairy Australia's Climate Commitments is to Adapt Australian dairy farming systems to thrive in a warmer and more unpredictable climate.
Dairy farmers have already seen the impacts of climate change on their business and many businesses are making changes that are assisting them to adapt to short-term climate variability and long-term climate change.
Adaptation to climate challenges can come in many forms. The first step to widespread adaptation is to increase understanding of the potential impacts and then proactively identify strategies for dealing with this impacts within each business’s unique operating context.
An outline of climate impacts for the eight Australian dairy farming regions is available here.
Dairy Australia and its partners have been very active in supporting research and development into adaptation options and strategies to assist the dairy industry to adapt to climate challenges.
The Dairy Businesses for Future Climates (DBFC) project has undertaken four dairy case studies across Australia to consider what climate conditions will occur in dairy regions into the future and explore what farm systems may best suit those conditions.
An outline of the National findings – Dairy Businesses for Future Climates is available here.
Dairy Australia's active projects - Adapt
- Forewarned is forearmed - extreme event preparedness (ongoing to June 2022)
- DairyFeedbase - Feeding Cool Cows project (ongoing collaboration)
- DairyFeedbase - Future Forage Value Index project (ongoing collaboration)
- DairyBio - Forage improvement project (ongoing collaboration)
- Quantification of cost of adaptation to Australian dairy industry (results by June 2021)
- Dairy learning and development modules for climate change (accessible via Enlight late 2021)
- Dairy Businesses for Future Climates - coastal NSW study (results by June 2022)
- WestVic adaptation planning (scoping phase)
For more on our current investments in this area see the Climate Change Strategy - Investment Summary (2021).