Increasing Food Production Sustainably in a Changing Climate: Understanding the Pressures and Potential

  • Beverley Henry
  • Richard Conant
  • John Carter
  • Veronique Droulez
  • Peter Grace
Chapter

Abstract

Australian agriculture is faced with the dilemma of increasing food production for a growing domestic and world population while decreasing environmental impacts and supporting the social and economic future of regional communities. The challenge for farmers is compounded by declining rates of productivity growth which have been linked to changes in climate and decreasing investment in agricultural research. The answer must lie in understanding the ecological functionality of landscapes and matching management of agricultural systems and use of natural resources to landscape capacity in a changing climate. A simplified mixed grain and livestock farm case study is used to illustrate the challenges of assessing the potential for shifts in land allocation between commodities to achieve sustainable intensification of nutrition production. This study highlights the risks associated with overly-simplistic solutions and the need for increased investment in research to inform the development of practical strategies for increasing food production in Australian agro-ecosystems while managing the impacts of climate change and addressing climate change mitigation policies.

Keywords

Zinc Methane Fermentation Phosphorus Dioxide 

References

  1. ABARE (Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics). (2009). Australian commodity statistics 2009. Canberra.Google Scholar
  2. ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics). (2008). Population Projections, Australia, 2006–2101. Canberra. Retrieved January, 2010, from http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3222.0
  3. AFI (Australian Farm Institute). (2009). FarmGAS Calculator: Final Report and Case Studies. Research Report, Australian Farm Institute, Surry Hills, Australia. http://www.farmgas.farminstitute.org.au/.
  4. BRS (Bureau of Rural Sciences). (2010). Workplan of the Australian Collaborative Land Use and Management Program Retrieved January, 2010, from. http://www.brs.gov.au/landuse Retrieved January 2010.
  5. Bruinsma, J. (2009). The resource outlook to 2050: By how much do land, water and crop yields need to increase by 2050? Paper presented at the FAO Expert Meeting, How to Feed the World in 2050, 2426 June 2009, Rome. Google Scholar
  6. Calford, E. M., Gurney A., Heyhoe, E., & Ahammad, H. (2010). The effects of an emissions offsets scheme on Australian agriculture. ABARE Issues Insights 10.2, Canberra. http://www.abare.gov.au
  7. Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. (1998). Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Retrieved March, 2011, from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthyactive/publishing.nsf/content/eating
  8. DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry). (2009). Australian Food Statistics 2008. Canberra.Google Scholar
  9. DCCEE. (2010a). Design of the carbon farming initiative. Consultation paper. Canberra: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.Google Scholar
  10. DCCEE. (2010b). Australian National Greenhouse Accounts, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, accounting for the Kyoto Target. Canberra: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.Google Scholar
  11. DCCEE. (2011). Securing a clean energy future: The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Plan. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Consolidated-Final.pdf. (Source: Licensed from the Commonwealth of Australia under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence; The Commonwealth of Australia does not necessarily endorse the content of this publication.)
  12. Eckard, R. J., Grainger, C. J., & de Klein, C. A. M. (2010). Options for the abatement of methane and nitrous oxide from ruminant production—a review. Livestock Science, 130, 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). (2008). FAOSTAT. Retrieved December, 2010, from http://www.faostat.fao.org/
  14. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). (2009). How to Feed the World in 2050. Report of Expert Meeting, 24–26 June 2009, Rome Italy.Google Scholar
  15. Foresight. (2011). The future of food and farming. Final Project Report. London: The Government Office for Science.Google Scholar
  16. GHD Hassall. (2010). The Implications of Greenhouse Mitigation Policies on the Demand for Agricultural Land. Research Report. Surry Hills, Australia: Australian Farm Institute.Google Scholar
  17. Gibson, R. S. (2010). Strategies for preventing multi-micronutrient deficiencies: A review of experience with food-based approaches in developing countries. In B. Thomson & L. Amorosos (Eds.), Combating micronutrient deficiencies: Food-based approaches (pp. 7–27). FAO. http://www.cobi.org
  18. Gill, M., Smith, P., & Wilkinson, J. M. (2010). Mitigating climate change: The role of domestic livestock. Animal, 4, 323–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grace, P. R., Antle, J., Ogle, S., Paustian, K., & Basso, B. (2010). Soil carbon sequestration rates and associated economic costs for farming systems of south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 48, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Henry, B., Charmley, E., Eckard, R., Gaughan, J., & Hegarty, R. (2012). Livestock production in a changing climate. Crop and Pasture Science, 63, 191–202Google Scholar
  21. Henry, B., & Eckard, R. (2009). Greenhouse gas emissions in livestock production systems. Tropical Grasslands, 43, 232–238.Google Scholar
  22. Hooper, S., & Levantis, C. (2011). Physical and financial performance benchmarks for grain producing farms, New South Wales central agroecological zone. ABARES report prepared for the Grains Research and Development Corporation, February 2011, Canberra.Google Scholar
  23. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute). (2009). Global livestock trends—the past may not always predict the future. Presentation by John McDermott, Deputy Director General—Research, to United States National Academy of Sciences, Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources Meeting, May 12, 2010. http://www.ilri.org
  24. Koning, N. B. J., van Ittersum, M. K., Becx, G. A., Van Boekel, M. A. S. J. S., Brandenburg, W. A., Van den Broek, J. A., et al. (2008). Long-term global availability of food: Continued abundance or new scarcity? NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 53, 229–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Larsen, K., Turner, G., Ryan, C., & Lawrence, M. (2011). Victorian Food Supply Scenarios: Impacts on availability of a nutritious diet. Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (University of Melbourne). Melbourne: CSIRO and Deakin University.Google Scholar
  26. MLA. (2002). Eco-efficiency manual for meat processing. Sydney: Meat and Livestock Australia Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. NSW I&I. (2005–10). Gross margin budgets. NSW Department of Industry and Investment. Retrieved November, 2010, from http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
  28. O’Mara, F. P. (2011). The significance of livestock as a contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions today and in the near future. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166–167, 7–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. PMSEIC. (2010). Australia and food security in a changing world. Canberra: The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.Google Scholar
  30. Ponnampalam, E., Mann, N., & Sinclair, A. (2006). Effect of feeding systems on Omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and trans fatty acids in Australian beef cuts: Potential impact on human health. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 15, 21–29.Google Scholar
  31. Sheales, T., & Gunning-Trant, C. (2009). Global food security and Australia. ABARE Issues Insights report 09.8, Canberra.Google Scholar
  32. Sheng, Y., Gray, E. M., & Mullen, J. D. (2011). Public investment in R&D and extension and productivity in Australian broadacre agriculture. ABARES Paper 11.08, Canberra.Google Scholar
  33. UNSCN (United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition). (2010). Climate Change and Nutrition Security. Message to UNFCCC negotiators to COP 16, Cancun. http://www.unscn.org
  34. Young, R. R., Wilson, B., Harden, C. S., & Bernardi, A. (2009). Accumulation of soil carbon under zero tillage cropping and perennial vegetation on the Liverpool Plains, eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 47, 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverley Henry
    • 1
  • Richard Conant
    • 1
  • John Carter
    • 2
  • Veronique Droulez
    • 3
  • Peter Grace
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Future EnvironmentsQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of ScienceInformation Technology, Innovation and the ArtsBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Meat and Livestock Australia SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Institute for Future Enviroinments at Queenlsand University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations