Home' Target 100 : Food for the Future Contents Food for the Future
n Overview of the cattle and
sheep industry in Australia
n Target 100 initiatives to
improve sustainability and
adapt to climate change
n Information on food security,
World Health Organization
n Climate information,
Bureau of Meteorology
n Focusing on feedlots,
Meat and Livestock Australia
n Video case study: Jane Sale,
Farmer, Yougawalla Station, WA
n This website includes the
latest information on crops,
such as those used to support
n An article for The Australian
Centre for Broadband Innovation
talks about smart farms
continents. Each Australian farmer produces enough food to feed 600 people,
150 at home and 450 overseas. The average farmer today feeds 30 times more
people now than in 1950.
But is it enough? The global population is expected to rise to nine billion by
2050. Our resources and production practices will have to feed more people,
and do so while meeting the challenges of climate change. Climate change also
means that farmers face threats to productivity from more extreme weather
events, from bushfires to floods to cyclones.
In southern Australia, farmers can expect reduced stream flows and a reduced
quality of water supply, making the current water-saving and recycling initiatives
being researched by the cattle and sheep industry all the more important. Climate
change is a huge challenge to Australia’s cattle and sheep farmers, with possible
consequences including the exposure of cattle and sheep to more heat-related
stress and disease, and an increase in the spread of exotic weeds.
MANAGING OUR RESOURCES AND PROTECTING OUR ECOSYSTEMS
Australia is leading the world in developing more sustainable practices throughout
the beef and lamb production system. Almost 50% of Australia’s landmass is
managed by cattle and sheep farmers. From practices on farms to innovation in
the industry, there are many ways in which Australian cattle and sheep farmers
and agricultural scientists are improving sustainability and production, developing
a better understanding of grazing management and pasture spelling, from better
understanding of genetics leading to improved breeds, to water saving on farms,
improving biodiversity, and reducing the methane released by cattle and sheep or
the emissions released from beef and lamb processing.
There is active research on the optimal mix of plants and feed provided to
cattle and sheep, including developing microalgae additives to reduce methane
emissions and finding the optimal mix of deep-rooted legumes that can help
to improve soil health, biodiversity and nutrient mix for sheep.
MANAGING OUR RESOURCES FOR THE FUTURE
Where is the cattle and sheep industry going and where can we expect it to be
by 2050? Does Australia have the capacity to continue to feed itself while also
providing essential protein to nearby countries, and what are the innovations
that need to be adopted to make this happen?
Target 100 is an initiative by Australian cattle and sheep farmers to deliver
sustainable farming by 2020, showcasing 100 research and development projects
that focus on sustainability. Sustainability isn’t only about the environment, it’s
also about good animal welfare, contributing to regional communities, ensuring
that cattle and sheep farming is economically viable and ensuring a food supply
for generations to come.
These research and development projects are funded by levies from cattle
and sheep farmers, and are led by cutting edge research groups including
universities, the CSIRO, and government departments and agencies. The projects
cover water, energy, climate variability, improved animal productivity, grazing
land management, waste, pest and weeds, economics, animal welfare, soil and
groundcover, biodiversity and reducing emissions.
Target 100 demonstrates the long-term commitment of Australia’s cattle
and sheep farmers to advance sustainable practices at a ground level, and how
the funding invested through levies can help fund innovation in industry. These
innovations include reducing greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of beef
and lamb production, reducing water run-off and recycling water, making use of
renewable energy and identifying native plant species that can create new feed
sources for cattle and sheep in Australia’s dry climate.
This guide presents a series of activities and articles that can help students
explore the concepts around climate variability and change, changing ecosystems,
nutrition and food webs, and how science can advance and change the way in
which we live.
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