In 2017, there have been several heat waves in Australia, and the people hit hardest by them have been primary producers, according to ABC News. Find out how 2016 had already spelled out negative consequences for Australian farmers and how a couple of farmers capture the personal struggle of this ongoing problem.

A worrying trend

Last year was the fourth hottest year recorded in Australia with the average temperature being 0.87 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. It was, as the Bureau called it, “the year of extreme events.”

2016 was what the Bureau of Meteorology called “the year of extreme events.”

These heat waves have caused primary producers extensive crop damage and livestock stress, resulting in significant financial loss. This has forced farmers to come up with innovative cooling solutions on their own to protect their produce and livestock, ABC reports.

It’s important to remember that this is a nationwide issue. It was among the top 10 warmest years for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania in 2016.

January 2017 showed no interruption in this trend of warmer temperatures. The national mean temperature for January was 0.77 degrees Celsius above average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

New South Wales faces troubles, in particular

New South Wales, however, was exceptionally hot in January 2017, the Bureau reports. NSW by itself had its third-highest average temperature on record, and the mean maximum and minimum were the fourth-highest temperatures.

ABC focussed on a particular agricultural town by the name of Moree in NSW that has struggled through a staggering 36 days of at least 35 degrees Celsius. This is why cotton farmer Sean Young talked to ABC about the toll it has taken on his business.

Heat waves are proving to be incredibly stressful for NSW farmers.
Heat waves are proving to be incredibly stressful for NSW farmers.

“This heat wave’s absolutely roasting the cotton and it’s chewing up our natural resources, mainly water,” Young said.

Dick Estens, another cotton farmer, said that he has had to complete 11 irrigation cycles, two more than he usually does. This is because there have been no storms, which create optimal conditions for cotton.

Prepare for the damage caused by heat waves

The weather reports show no signs of this sweltering weather easing up, so it may be in your best interest to prepare for any possible damage. Here at MGA Insurance Brokers, we understand that each crop is affected in different ways by weather conditions. With over 40 years of experience in the rural sector, we can tailor your insurance to fit your specific needs. Contact us today to begin a consultation.