World Grain - August 2022 - 34

REGIONAL REVIEW: AUSTRALIA ON FRONT LINES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
A separate report entitled " Fork in the Road, " looking
Australia's wheat production rollercoaster
(wheat, in 1,000 tonnes)
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
at " Impacts of Climate Change on our Food Supply, "
written by Stephen Bartos, CEO of Bartos Consulting
Group, and published by Farmers for Climate Action
in March 2022, warns that climate change is heightening
the risk of food shortages following extreme
weather events.
" Empty supermarket shelves, once rare, will become
*Estimated **Projected
by declines in parts of New South Wales and South
Australia, the report said.
" These trends reflect adjustment within and across
farms in response to economic and climate drivers, as
farmers manage trade-offs between risk and return, "
according to the authors.
For example, the trend toward cropping occurred
largely in response to declines in wool and sheep prices
in the early 1990s, the report said.
The more recent reversal reflects a shift away
from cropping in some more " marginal " parts of the
Australian cropping zone, which likely reflects both the
long-term shift in rainfall patterns and more recent increases
in livestock prices.
Supply chain impact
In a document entitled, " Climate is Everyone's
Business, " which laid out its 2022 policy priorities,
the group Farmers for Climate Action noted that
" Australian farmers are on the front lines of climate
change, facing more severe and frequent drought, heatwaves,
fires and floods. Extreme weather is making
farming harder and more uncertain extreme weather
affects the food supply chain at every stage. We are
adapting, but there are limits to adaptation. "
The 7,000-member group added: " We need deep
emissions reductions this decade to protect Australian
farmers from extreme weather events caused by climate
change, and ensure we are able to continue to produce
food for Australia and the world. With the right policy
support, Australian agriculture can be carbon neutral
well before 2050. But emissions reductions are needed
across all sectors of the economy. Other sectors need to
play their part and rapidly reduce emissions. "
34
a more common experience for Australians as the
impacts of climate change worsen, " it said. " Climate
change is also increasing the price of food, reducing
availability of some lines, and decreasing the nutritional
value of basic food staples like rice and wheat. "
Some of the impacts are being felt already,
Bartos said.
" During the first two months of 2022, much of central
and northern Australia experienced food shortages
due to the combined impact of flooding and the
COVID-19 pandemic, " he said. " The problem was not
lack of food - there was plenty available on farms or
in warehouses - but disruption to the supply chain required
for its distribution.
" We need to build resilience into our food supply
system, but we also need to address the broader issue of
climate change. Decisive action today will help moderate
the worst impacts of climate change. On the other
hand, a lack of action will make it virtually certain that
in coming decades Australians will for the first time
face the prospect of running out of food in our major
towns and cities because supply chains fail. "
The report outlines adverse potential effects of climate
change throughout the food supply chain, starting
with higher input prices and a lack of water. Crops
could be affected by heat stress, longer or shorter growing
seasons, and a higher incidence of pests or diseases.
Crops could be lost in extreme weather events and the
cost of operating farms could rise.
Once crops come off the farm, extreme weather
events and more expensive fuel could affect transport,
while a lack of raw materials and lower quality produce,
as well as a lack of staff, for example during an emergency,
and the potential for higher fuel costs, could all
affect processors. Shorter shelf lives for heat-sensitive
products and pests in products like bulk grains could
affect storage.
Retail and food service sectors face being hit by
higher input costs and a less reliable supply of food.
Again, staff shortages could be an issue.
Chris Lyddon is World Grain's European correspondent.
He may be contacted at: cajlyddon@gmail.com
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries
to worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles,
email reprints@sosland.com.
August 2022 / World Grain / World-Grain.com
2022-23**
2021-22*
2020-21
2019-20
2018-19
2017-18
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2013-14
2012-13
2011-12
2010-11
Source: US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service
http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - August 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - August 2022

World Grain - August 2022 - Intro
World Grain - August 2022 - 1
World Grain - August 2022 - 2
World Grain - August 2022 - 3
World Grain - August 2022 - 4
World Grain - August 2022 - 5
World Grain - August 2022 - 6
World Grain - August 2022 - 7
World Grain - August 2022 - 8
World Grain - August 2022 - 9
World Grain - August 2022 - 10
World Grain - August 2022 - 11
World Grain - August 2022 - 12
World Grain - August 2022 - 13
World Grain - August 2022 - 14
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World Grain - August 2022 - 17
World Grain - August 2022 - 18
World Grain - August 2022 - 19
World Grain - August 2022 - 20
World Grain - August 2022 - 21
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