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Farmers Take Action on Climate Change

18 August 2006

The National Agriculture and Climate Change Action Plan, released yesterday, is the much anticipated product of the collaborative effort of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Australian Governments.

"The Plan is a great example of how the climate change issue needs to be dealt with in Australia," said Ben Fargher, NFF CEO.

"It provides a coordinated framework and focuses on creating a strong, progressive and sustainable agriculture sector for the future. It embraces research and development and promotes climate change adaptation and emissions mitigation strategies. 

"For the agriculture sector, the framework outlines our ability to maximise opportunities and minimise the risks associated with climate change. 

"Encouragingly, emissions from the joint agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors have fallen by around 40% since 1990. 

"Australian farmers have been able to achieve this through sustainable native vegetation management. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that on average, each farmer plants approximately 150 seedlings annually for conservation purposes.

"Widely implemented farming techniques to mitigate emissions also include precision applications of fertiliser, minimum or no till cropping practices and maintenance of permanent groundcovers to optimise soil condition.

"NFF is now eager to take the next step to put the plan into action and to closely scrutinise the risks and opportunities that lie ahead. This will require ongoing collaboration and Government support.

"Currently there is an obvious lack of information on climate change available at the regional level for farmers to feel confident they are making the best decisions about their future. This plan is the first step in addressing that gap, Mr Fargher said.

NFF has worked closely with the Federal Government to develop this strategic framework. Both the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of the Environment and Heritage have been a great support in beginning to address what NFF believes to be possibly the biggest risk facing Australian farmers in the coming century.

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan, NFF Public Affairs, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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