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Agriculture Farming Rural

Weather bureau confirms what farmers are already experiencing – it’s getting hot and dry

Farmers for Climate Action 2 mins read

Sept 19 2023 


Farmers for Climate Action is calling for urgent action to limit climate change as it emerges farmers are officially facing an El Niño weather pattern after three years of La Niña.


The Bureau of Meteorology today declared Australia is officially in an El Niño weather pattern, meaning warmer drier conditions are more likely for south-eastern Australia, and this will be made more extreme by climate change.


Already some farmers, including Farmers for Climate Action member Peter Lake who farms near Grafton on the NSW North Coast, are officially in drought conditions after battling floods 12 months ago.


“It turned from mud to concrete in a couple of weeks and suddenly everything was just dry. From flood to drought, climate change is making the changes more extreme," Mr Lake said.


Farmers for Climate Action Chair Brett Hall, who farms in the Derwent Valley in Tasmania, said many farmers were concerned about the possibility of warmer, drier conditions and increased weather variability for eastern Australia this spring and summer.


“Although some farmers have had reasonable conditions recently, we know things can change in a few months.”


Mr Hall said that Australian farmers are great at adapting, but that ultimately we need to address the driving cause of climate change - emissions.


“Farmers are always looking three steps ahead to the next event but there are limits to their adaptation. While we adapt and mitigate on-farm, we need to know the rest of the economy is doing its bit to reduce emissions and tackle climate change, which is causing more frequent and severe weather events.”


Farmers for Climate Action, an organisation representing 8000 farmers, hosted a webinar “El Niño explained” in July bringing together a range of speakers, including from the BoM and Birchip Cropping Group to help farmers prepare. That presentation is available HERE.



Available for interview:

Ulmarra, NSW north coast - beef farmer Peter Lake who’s experienced flood and drought conditions within 18 months

Harden, NSW - sheep and crop farmer and FCA staff member, Peter Holding

Tasmania, beef farmer and FCA Chair, Brett Hall




Contact details:

Jacqui Street 0498 188 528 /

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