Gaining an understanding of the wide-ranging effects of the current drought in Australia is critical to defining, developing and implementing effective strategies for future drought preparedness. It is also important to consider social, economic and environmental factors in that strategy.
As the dry conditions in Australia continue to worsen, the immediate effects that drought has on farmers and farming communities need to be understood and communicated widely. So too, does the necessity of determining, defining and articulating the higher order social, economic and environmental consequences.
Daily, Australian primary producers face challenges to their farm operations. These can vary from the availability of water and health of their stock, to plant health, disease and a changing climate. Addressing those issues directly reflects on farm productivity and ‘bottom line’ outcomes. Adopting a biological approach in farming practices results in fewer issues needing to be addressed, lower costs and increased productivity.
Israel is not perfect, but it is a successful, open, multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, in which non-Jewish communities increasingly feel that they are a part of Israeli society. The security threats faced by Israel have changed and the new range of common threats means that there is a growing acceptance in the region of the existence of Israel. Within Israel itself, the Bedouin community, as a minority within a minority, faces some particular challenges, including the need to preserve traditional values while successfully managing the changes brought about by modern technology.
The future of our agricultural soils in view of their declining health from salinity and other factors, and more specifically, the ability of our farmers to produce food to feed our future population, continues to have prominence within the West Australian agricultural sector at the highest levels.
Wheat is a major component of the global food supply and is Australia’s largest agricultural export after beef. The salinisation of agricultural land, however, poses a threat to global wheat production. The development of salt-tolerant wheat could help to minimise that threat.
Dryland salinity affects more than two million hectares of non-irrigated farmland in Australia. Half of that total is located in Western Australia. In this interview, Dr George outlines the extent and trend of dryland salinity in WA before discussing some of the approaches that are being made to manage it.
Australia’s medium- to long-term agricultural future will be largely dominated by the need to grow and produce more food. The introduction of newer and better agricultural systems will be required. Research and development conducted by skilled, experienced scientists and technicians will be vital to the successful development and application of those methods.
Chris Ferreira: Community Links in the Urban, Rural and Regional Environments Through Sustainable Farming
Farming methods must be developed and optimised to meet the need to grow food to feed a steadily rising population. That development and optimisation is doubly important at a time when agriculture is confronted by environmental issues such as climate change, land degradation and the loss of biodiversity.
The Australian agricultural sector is experiencing the beginnings of a potential transformation. Farmers, graziers and community groups are starting to move away from the “industrial farming” model, towards a more holistic, environmentally sustainable and ecologically responsible paradigm.