Leaders from around the world recently convened in New York to discuss climate change – and their countries’ responses – at a summit held by the United Nations. Among other groups, the World Farmers’ Organisation also joined in the discussions, highlighting how these environmental factors directly impact the agriculture industry.
Despite the fact that Australia has been called out for hesitating to take a strong stance on this issue at the summit, the country’s farmers are no strangers to the obstacles difficult environmental trends can wage on their livelihood. In the outback, those who raise livestock and grow crops have traditionally faced challenges procuring an adequate, quality water supply.
At the same time, demand for this important resource has only continued to climb. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian farms used 32 per cent more water in 2012-2013 than the previous year, including 11.1 million megalitres for irrigation. A quarter of the water used came from rivers, creeks and lakes. Like old bore water, these sources don’t always provide the most beneficial water. Instead, it’s often hard and laden with iron, calcium or salt.
For that reason, farmers need long-term, sustainable solutions to make the most of their water resources. As The Border Mail reported, Henty Machinery Field Days chairman Ross Edwards noted at the annual event on September 23 that those in the agriculture sector need to farm smarter, not harder.
“It’s also about dealing with the practical challenges of climate change and extreme weather events, changing consumer habits and rising input costs,” he said.
This is a wise insight, and one that drives innovative solutions like Hydrosmart’s water conditioning technology. Without adding harmful chemicals or consuming a lot of energy, this system enables farmers to make the most of their water resources, turning hard water that could hinder crop growth, make animals sick and damage infrastructure into nutrient-rich, soft water.
While larger scale responses may be necessary in the face of environmental concerns, this is one way that farmers can mitigate the effects of water obstacles in order to improve the wellbeing of their plants and animals.