El Nino will hit the farmers first, and then everyone else… 20



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Australia is expected to suffer a moderate-to-strong El Nino in the second half of 2015, potentially exacerbating prolonged drought in the eastern states. Most of the last El Nino events have seen Australia’s go into severe drought – and this time it will affect everyone, from the farmers to the pensioners.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday officially declared the existence of an El Nino, the precursor to many of Australia’s worst droughts. El Nino is characterised by a warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean and can cause below average rainfall in Australia in winter and spring, particularly in the east. David Jones a spokesperson for the Bureau said, “We know that 17 of the last 26 El Ninos have seen reasonably extensive drought conditions over Australia.”

The characteristics of an El Nino in terms of weather changes are varied and dramatic. Decreased rainfall, wide fluctuating temperatures with severe high and low extremes and monsoonal rains at the end of the period.

So how does this affect us?

Drought means one thing for Australian farmers – a tough time. Water is a precious resource and with less of it to go around, that’s less produce they can provide. Be it cattle, wheat, veges or fruit, drought makes it more difficult to maintain large produce volumes. The other factor is that high temperature extremes cause a change in the lifecycle of plant based products. Crops may mature more quickly in the heat calling for farmers to increase staff and workloads in order to go to harvest. This makes it an expensive operation to get the value from their crops – and if they don’t, the alternative is having nothing of good quality to sell.

The pressure applied on farmers means that there will be less of everything to go around, which will drive prices of every day products upwards. Things like vegetables, bread and meat will increase in price as demand increases and supply falls. This is where El Nino begins to affect every Australians – not just the farmers.

The idea of being able to fork out more for every day products can be crippling and although the pension is safe and the government unveiling a $300 million provision for drought related services and support, El Nino is something that sadly, the government can’t save us from.

So tell us, will you be preparing for drought mode as we have so many times before? Will you watch your water usage a little more closely in an effort to make it easier for everyone? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

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  1. Our poor farmers they don’t miss a trick, if its not one its another, my heart aches for them but that still have pioneering spirit that we have lost..I wish them all the best

  2. BoM forecast the same thing last year.
    Didn’t happen.
    Maybe if they forecast one every year, they’ll get it right sometime.
    Meanwhile, the anchovy fishing is still good off Sth America.

    1 REPLY
  3. Farmers, the backbone of our country. Thats what I was told when I was younger. Having worked on farms for years, I wouldnt be a farmer for all the tea in China.

  4. My heart just sinks hearing this and my thoughts go out to the farmers – the folks who keep the food on our table or try to. Even with the best drought proofing procedures put in place on properties this will be another kick in the guts for them – it has been a continuous battle for over 10 years against, drought, fire, flood, falling prices, loss of export markets and now drought again. It is like standing in the paddock and tearing up $100 notes. They do have the courage and guts and love of country and their properties to battle on but the cost is so very very high – emotionally and financially.

  5. Did anyone see the article about the increase in ice flow in Antarctica how about that sceptics!

  6. It’s not the global warming we should worry about.Its the global cooling. You can’t grow fruit and vegetables when it is cold.

  7. When is australia going to spend the money to bring water down through the interior to service many of these farmers. Just an idea

  8. Let’s get Real these same Farmers but not all support Tony’s theory that global warming is all bull Sh-t listen to him on Carbon tax I know my electricity has not gone down but up. And so will Global Warming cause future problems for all

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