Long term strategic investment in drought proofing

NSW-droughtFarmers across NSW are calling for urgent government action to to protect the long-term sustainability of the agricultural industry after the state was declared 100 per cent in drought yesterday.

According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, 61 per cent of NSW is either in drought or intense drought while nearly 39 per cent is drought affected.

Farmers for Climate Action spokesperson and Molong sheep and cattle farmer Robert Lee said: “We are in uncharted territory, seeing soaring temperatures on average two degrees higher than the BOM baseline and increased evaporation.

“This drought and change in weather patterns doesn’t just have short-term impacts but a flow-on effect. The security of supplementary feed supply is going to be a big issue in coming months, with widespread crop failures across the eastern states.

“Immediate relief is important, but won’t help us in the long-term. We also need government to recognise the severity of the drought our farmers are facing on the ground and link it to bigger picture and how we can adapt and mitigate to this increasing risk.”

Bowna cattle farmer Lucinda Corrigan, Farmers for Climate Action, said: “Drought packages are important to look after people and animals during times of welfare crises, and we applaud the Government’s response. However, we need to see long-term strategic investments in research and development are required to develop climate smart agriculture to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change,” she said.

“Long-term policy will enable the regions to gain from the development of renewable energy projects, and to enable the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“Farmers have shown a great appetite for adopting solar and wind projects, and there are 30 proposed solar farms in my area, the Eastern Riverina, as we speak.

“A national bipartisan plan is required to reduce emissions and take advantage of the very positive future for Australian agriculture.”

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