Livestock production in a changing climate: Adaptation and mitigation research in Australia

Henry, Beverley, Charmley, Ed, Eckard, Richard, Gaughan, John B. and Hegarty, Richard (2012). Livestock production in a changing climate: Adaptation and mitigation research in Australia. In: CCRSPI Conference synthesis papers. Inaugural Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries Conference 2011 (CCRSPI 2011), Melbourne, Australia, (191-202). 14–17 February 2011. doi:10.1071/CP11169


Author Henry, Beverley
Charmley, Ed
Eckard, Richard
Gaughan, John B.
Hegarty, Richard
Title of paper Livestock production in a changing climate: Adaptation and mitigation research in Australia
Conference name Inaugural Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries Conference 2011 (CCRSPI 2011)
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 14–17 February 2011
Proceedings title CCRSPI Conference synthesis papers   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Crop and Pasture Science   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Collingwood, Vic., Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
DOI 10.1071/CP11169
Open Access Status DOI
ISSN 1836-0947
1836-5795
Volume 63
Issue 3
Start page 191
End page 202
Total pages 12
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Climate change presents a range of challenges for animal agriculture in Australia. Livestock production will be affected by changes in temperature and water availability through impacts on pasture and forage crop quantity and quality, feed-grain production and price, and disease and pest distributions. This paper provides an overview of these impacts and the broader effects on landscape functionality, with a focus on recent research on effects of increasing temperature, changing rainfall patterns, and increased climate variability on animal health, growth, and reproduction, including through heat stress, and potential adaptation strategies. The rate of adoption of adaptation strategies by livestock producers will depend on perceptions of the uncertainty in projected climate and regional-scale impacts and associated risk. However, management changes adopted by farmers in parts of Australia during recent extended drought and associated heatwaves, trends consistent with long-term predicted climate patterns, provide some insights into the capacity for practical adaptation strategies.

Animal production systems will also be significantly affected by climate change policy and national targets to address greenhouse gas emissions, since livestock are estimated to contribute ~10% of Australia’s total emissions and 8–11% of global emissions, with additional farm emissions associated with activities such as feed production. More than two-thirds of emissions are attributed to ruminant animals. This paper discusses the challenges and opportunities facing livestock industries in Australia in adapting to and mitigating climate change. It examines the research needed to better define practical options to reduce the emissions intensity of livestock products, enhance adaptation opportunities, and support the continued contribution of animal agriculture to Australia’s economy, environment, and regional communities.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Sub-type: Fully published paper
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
 
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Created: Mon, 25 Jun 2012, 19:57:50 EST by System User on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences