01/20/2017

Climate Change and Farming: Let’s Be Part of the Solution!

Author: Anna Bowen | Published on: January 9, 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution.

I think it’s time to change my farming system”, said my client. “A switch from dairy to rice paddies.”

Looking at his sodden fields, it wasn’t hard to imagine.

When you work with farmers, conversations about the weather are inevitable. Their livelihoods are intrinsically linked to the climate, and very often they and their animals are at the mercy of the elements.

As a consultant I work with long-term financial projections and business plans. In light of rising global temperatures it would be foolish to overlook the impact that climate change may have on my dairy farming clients in the dampness of West Wales.

The last decade has seen record-setting wet years for Britain, and the risk of flooding and the problems associated with sodden ground look likely to be an increasing challenge for farmers. The Environment Agency state that precipitation in the West of the country is expected to increase by up to 33%, a significant rise for an area that already experiences some of the highest rainfall in the UK.

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