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Climate change - the agriculture dilemma

Elliot Dwyer

Manager - Environmental Policy, Agriculture Food and Wine Division, Primary Industries and Resources SA


Climate change is cited as the greatest challenge to mankind in the history of modern civilisation. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute approximately 22.9% of Australia's total emissions (National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 2005). Management of agricultural sources of methane and nitrous oxide is particularly difficult because of the distributed nature of the emissions (livestock, soils, fertilisers and animal wastes) and the influence of a wide range of environmental factors, not least of all, the weather. New guidelines, however, being prepared by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, identify a range of best management practice that may be utilised as operating and production standards in on-farm Environmental Management Systems and will aid in managing and reducing emissions.

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