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Open AccessArticle

Managing Livestock Species under Climate Change in Australia

1
Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2011, 1(4), 343-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani1040343
Received: 18 September 2011 / Revised: 10 October 2011 / Accepted: 17 October 2011 / Published: 19 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Livestock Management)
World communities are concerned about the impacts of a hotter and drier climate on future agriculture. By examining Australian regional livestock data on sheep, beef cattle, dairy cattle, and pigs, the authors find that livestock production will expand under such conditions. Livestock revenue per farm is expected to increase by more than 47% by 2060 under the UKMO, the GISS, and a high degree of warming CSIRO scenario. The existence of a threshold temperature for these species is not evident.
This paper examines the vulnerabilities of major livestock species raised in Australia to climate change using the regional livestock profile of Australia of around 1,400 regions. The number of each species owned, the number of each species sold, and the aggregate livestock revenue across all species are examined. The four major species analyzed are sheep, beef cattle, dairy cattle, and pigs. The analysis also includes livestock products such as wool and milk. These livestock production statistics are regressed against climate, geophysical, market and household characteristics. In contrast to crop studies, the analysis finds that livestock species are resilient to a hotter and more arid climate. Under the CSIRO climate scenario in which temperature increases by 3.4 °C, livestock revenue per farm increases significantly while the number of each species owned increases by large percentages except for dairy cattle. The precipitation reduction by about 8% in 2060 also increases the numbers of livestock species per farm household. Under both UKMO and GISS scenarios, livestock revenue is expected to increase by around 47% while the livestock population increases by large percentage. Livestock management may play a key role in adapting to a hot and arid climate in Australia. However, critical values of the climatic variables for the species analyzed in this paper are not obvious from the regional data. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; livestock species; Australia climate change; adaptation; livestock species; Australia
MDPI and ACS Style

Seo, S.N.; McCarl, B. Managing Livestock Species under Climate Change in Australia. Animals 2011, 1, 343-365.

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