Hotter, more variable climate means more risk to pasture growth

Certainly the temperatures appear to be getting higher.

The temperatures in the winter have been higher. Spring rains have been non-existent – very much hit and miss. There was low rainfall over last spring (2015), so we didn’t get the bulk of feed over spring.

This year we had some rainfall in January, but it was really just enough to get some hairy panic grass to come up, where normally with the summer rain you get some really good growth from the summer perennials. But that didn’t really happen this year [2016], because there wasn’t much moisture in the soil profile from the spring, and because of the temperatures.

There weren’t the high forties temperatures this year, but there were consistent over-thirty degree days.

It’s so easy to get locked into the old English way of farming. But we have so little moisture in our soil profile, and the temperatures are only getting higher.

I’m not even convinced this property is made for breeding stock 24/7. I think in this high rainfall area of southern New South Wales, with climate change, there’s definitely not the predictability in the seasons there used to be, and that means you have to change your management practice.

My major priority is not production at all costs. But I do want to run a profitable farming operation. My major priority is getting the soil and the land into a good, healthy condition. I feel if I can do this then everything else will take care of itself and, in turn, accommodate for the varying climate.