It has been a difficult time for agriculturalists who have experienced the effects of drought, heat, and devastating bushfires.
Sixth-generation Bungendore grazier Harry Watson feels that not only climate change is real, but we are also experiencing it all the time.
"The temperature is hotter now than it used to be when I was a kid. When I was younger, climate change was something that was going to happen one day but now we are experiencing its effects in our day-to-day lives. In the last 10 years, we have been in extreme drought and have experienced devastating bushfires last year," the 36-year old said.
"While doing anything we have to be conscious of the fact that our climate is getting hotter and more unpredictable. We have to use the agricultural system and make decisions that are able to cope with that."
Mr Watson and his family manage the Millpost Farm located outside Bungendore. The family business includes commercial superfine merino enterprise, diverse agroforestry systems, productive gardens, and home-grown animals for eggs, meat and milk.
He feels that there is a need to be more proactive in our decision making because "it's a current threat to our livelihood, animals, and ecosystem that support our enterprise".
They have been making changes on their farm to adapt to climate change. It includes subdividing paddocks into smaller areas, planting windbreaks, wildlife corridors to improve the biodiversity of the farm, providing shelter to livestock, and for the pastures that livestock depends on.
"As a farmer, we are changing the type of merino that we are breeding. We are moving to a sheep that is more suited to a hotter climate and are moving to SRS type merinos from traditional superfine merino," he said.
"It means that we will spend less time on animal husbandry because the animals are stronger, healthier, and more profitable in a changing climate.
"We are self-reliant in terms of food production and grow a significant proportion of our own food. If climate change is disruptive to food supply networks, we are insulated from it."
Mr Watson will be speaking on climate change at Small Farms and Climate Change Forum organised by Small Farms Network Capital Region.
The free event will be held online on Saturday, September 5. Bookings for the forum can be made here.
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