Grenfell farmers need to adapt

Mandurama's Dr Guy Fitzhardinge will speak at Cowra's Climate Smart conference this month.
Mandurama's Dr Guy Fitzhardinge will speak at Cowra's Climate Smart conference this month.

Along the lines of Charles Darwin’s philosophy, farmers who survive won’t be the biggest and strongest but those who are ready to adapt.

That is the message from Dr Guy Fitzhardinge who is one of the keynote speakers for the Climate Smart Innovation conference to be held in Cowra this month.

The conference will explore the future of agricultural practices and showcase interesting projects in the region.

Dr Fitzhardinge is a pioneer among farmers and graziers, forming one of the first landcare groups in Australia more than 20 years ago.

Farmers need to embrace new technology.

Farmers need to embrace new technology.

In 2013 he was recognised by the Commonwealth for his significant service to conservation and the agricultural industry as a Member of the Order of Australia.

“We’re going to be facing much major risks in farming and agriculture due to climate change,” Dr Fitzhardinge said ahead of the conference which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday April 18–19 in Cowra.

“Farming is already a very risky business, we have greater variability in terms of agricultural output and value of output than most of our competitors and that puts us in a position which is not highly desirable

“Climate change is going to increase that risk and we need to manage around that.

Dr Fitzhardinge says it's not the biggest who will survive.

Dr Fitzhardinge says it's not the biggest who will survive.

“We need to invest in technology that aids management rather than re-enforce ways of traditionally doing things.

“We need tech that informs management as well as underpins traditional practices.”

Dr Fitzhardinge believes farmers who survive climate change will be those that adapt the fastest.

“Those that survive will follow Darwin’s philosophy that those that survive won’t be the biggest but those that are ready to adapt,” he will warns those present at the Cowra conference.

”We as farmers need to be prepared to be adaptive.

“Those that are not going to be fast in taking up new technologies will struggle in the end,” he said.

The two-day Climate Smart Innovations (CSI) for the Central West Conference is for anyone interested in sustainable land-use.

Dr Fitzhardinge owns and manages a large beef enterprise, Thring Pastoral Company near Mandurama.

He has previously been on the Board of Meat and Livestock Australia and The Meat Research Corporation and he was the Chairman of the Beef Genetics Cooperative Research Centre and is currently a Director of WWF Australia.