Climate Opportunities: Farming in an unpredictable climate

By renae hanvin

Apr 24 2023

As our climate patterns change and, in some cases, veer into extreme weather, farmers are often at the mercy of the elements.

Unseasonable and extreme weather events will cause compounding issues to our everyday business operations. The extent of impact will vary significantly depending on the size, industry, and location of your business.

But by seeing challenges as opportunities, farmers could make these extreme changes in the weather possibly work in their favour.

As Australia slowly comes out of a La Nina weather pattern, many will be making plans for crops and livestock. But what about a plan for all types of weather extremes?

Weather realities

Australia is a continent known for its drought and flooding rains. Our reputation for weather extremes is well established.

And water – whether it’s too much or too little – is central to all farming operations, and its availability or lack of it dominates all aspects of farm life.

So, what will you do if it stops raining? What will you do if it keeps raining?

In the case of limited water, a farmer could look at a more efficient approach to water usage, including irrigation practices. In the event of too much water, a cattle farmer might decide to move their cattle from low-lying areas and allow those paddocks to rest and revegetate for lusher feed.

By looking at every possibility and planning for the extremes, you can create opportunities for your agricultural enterprise to survive and thrive.


What are you doing now? And how could you be doing it better? These are questions you need to ask yourself when auditing your farming practices and management approach.

But the impacts of more severe weather patterns call for different thinking, and this is where energy emissions audits are critical.

What does your farm’s carbon footprint look like? And what can you do to reduce the impact of your farming operations on the environment? Have you thought about investing in solar energy?

Do you need to look at changing what you feed your livestock to reduce methane emissions? Or change how you manage your pastures? Do you need to consider planting alternate crops? Or diversifying?

As the saying goes, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, so climate challenges call for fresh thinking.


Do you know much about the Carbon Market? Or Carbon Credits? What about the Emissions Reduction Fund? If not, it’s time to learn.

By getting to grips with these new farming opportunities, you can be ready to take advantage of positive opportunities, and future-proof your farming operations.

Carbon farming is an umbrella term for several approaches to sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil and in crop roots, wood and leaves on your property to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

A carbon offset is a reduction or removal of emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made to compensate for emissions made elsewhere by other parties.

Landowners and farmers who follow the approved Emissions Reduction Fund methods – which includes actions such as planting trees – can earn Australian Carbon Credit Units. Farmers can sell these Units to the government or trade them through the Carbon Market to generate extra income.

By putting a climate change lens across your farming operations, and embracing changes to how you operate, you can make sure your farming operation is disaster-and-climate-ready.