Essay Sample Focusing on the Impacts of Climate Change on Wheat Production

Published: 2022-06-14 15:08:53
Essay Sample Focusing on the Impacts of Climate Change on Wheat Production
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Agriculture Climate change
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1903 words
16 min read
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Today, climate change is a major challenge to the humanity. Its effects have been detrimental to almost every sector of the economy. Nonetheless, the agricultural sector has been on the receiving end as most of its productions are highly dependent on the climate of a given region. The climate change and its variability have greatly impacted the agricultural sector within most regions of the world. There has been an increase in the negative impacts of weather on the annual crops and the yield by farmers. Various regions within the United States and other countries across the globe have experienced above normal temperatures during the winters and the early spring. The high temperatures in these seasons have greatly improved the growth of wheat above the normal levels (Semenov, 2009 pg. 343). Unfortunately, the warm weather during these seasons was followed by extremely cold spring which damaged the wheat yields in the wheat fields.

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The late freeze during the springs has always encouraged the farmers to diversify into planting corn early enough leading to an excellent start of the planting season (Kelley et al., 2015 pg. 3246). Despite these, most of the springs have always been followed by the hottest and driest weather ever experienced in a period of 70 years. In the regions such as Kentucky, the yields of corn were devastated. The periods that followed this particular season was relatively wet and cooler affecting the yield of wheat as well as other crops such as wheat and soybean which have always been intercropped with it. In this year, there was an excellent yield in all the three crops. The trends in the climatic changes as well as weather have become extremely difficult to predict.

The knowledge of how the climate will change in any given region and country is always vital for the farmers to enable them put in place the appropriate tools as well as learn the required techniques in which these changes can be controlled. The farmers also need the knowledge to be able to determine how the predicted changes could impact the production of the wheat crop across the various regions across the world. Wheat crop is considered as the most sensitive to the weather changes (Kelley et al., 2015 pg. 3243). Thus, the frosts in the spring can usually lead to a dramatic reduction in the yields while on the other hand, warm and wet weather in the periods of the seed fill may lead to the development of various diseases for the crops resulting into a diminished yield and elevated levels of toxins in the grains.

Explain the two policies

The former Labour Government's Carbon Tax

The Labor Government's Carbon Tax was introduced by the Australian government through the Clean Energy Act of 2012. The main focus of this initiative was to control the emissions in the country (Rootes, 2014 pg. 14). The initiative would also support the growth of the economy by developing clean energy technologies reducing pollutions in return. The carbon tax was created under the supervision of the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Regulator. The carbon tax greatly helped in reducing pollution in the country. Nonetheless, the commission faced significant challenges from the public as well as the opposition government due to the increased prices of energy for the industries as well as the households.

The policy was formulated with a goal of reducing the greenhouse emission of gasses, ensuring the trade exposed industries compensate, compensation of the households, as well as the provision of the AUD3 billion a year for the low emissions technology innovations. The Clean Energy Act of 2012 also operated on the objectives such as giving effect to Australia's obligations under the climatic change convention as well as the Kyoto Protocol. The Clean Energy Act of 2012 was also meant to support the development of an effective response to the global climate change. The response ought to have been consistent with the interest of Australia through ensuring that the average temperatures recorded globally do not increase by more than two degrees Celsius above the initial industrial levels. The Clean Energy Act of 2012 also needed actions to be taken towards meeting the long-term targets of Australia through the reduction of the net greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2050 (Ekins, Pollitt, & Summerton, 2016 pg. 56). The actions to reduce these emissions were to be undertaken flexibly and cost-effectively. The Clean Energy Act of 2012 also helped in putting up a price of the emission of the green gas in ways that encouraged the citizens as well as the individual companies to invest in the clean energies such as Solar and Biogas. The price tag also supported job creation and competition in the economy of the country leading to the growth of the economy and a resulting reduction in pollution.

The Direct Action Plan (Funded by the ERF)

The direct action plan came as a result of voting out the emissions trading scheme of 2009. The plan was released in 2010 with the aim of meeting the bipartisan target under which the emission of greenhouse gas in Australia would be reduced to ninety-five percent by the year 2020. The centerpiece of the Direct Action Plan is estimated to be about $1.1 billion from the Emission Reduction Fund (ERF). The fund is allocated to support the projects with the aim of reducing the emissions across every sector of the economy in competitive rounds (Lubcke, 2013 pg. 23). The Direct Action Plan is inclusive of the Green Army which aims to plant about 20 million trees. Nonetheless, this proposal was not funded in the budget of 2014. The plan is steered by the Department of the Environment which is charged with the responsibility of ensuring it is successful.

According to Aboriginal Carbon Fund. (2018), the Direct Action Plan is driven by two policies; the white paper and the green paper. These policies were released while developing legislation with the aim of revising the CFI. The White Paper policy is based on three major design principles which include lowest cost emission reductions, streamlined administration, and the genuine emissions reductions. The ERF funding is now inclusive of the CFI after the legislation passed it in 2014. The ERF is aiming to support approximately 236 million tonnes of abatement by the year 2020, which is the exact amount needed to meet the target of 5 percent without buying credits from other countries. The target is inclusive of reducing the emissions from the power stations, storage of carbon in the soil and the forest as well as the improvement of the energy efficiency.

Impact of climate change policies on your chosen sector

The risks of climate change to the production of wheat.

Considering the adverse effects of climate change on the agricultural sector. Most of the wheat production firms were not able to pay the carbon tax, despite being liable. The changes in weather have mostly affected the agricultural sector. The sector has experienced changes in pests and diseases, atmospheric carbon dioxides as well as the concentrations of the ground level ozone. These changes have affected the nutritional quantities of wheat which are very sensitive to weather. The future climate change is projected to negatively affect the wheat production in most parts of the world. Thus, the changes experienced in climate will consequently increase the risks of food security for wheat. Nonetheless, wheat being a plant may not be liable for paying the carbon tax in future. The wheat crop can help reduce the carbon dioxide gas levels during the photosynthesis process. However, there is no evidence in support of exempting the agricultural sector including the wheat production from the carbon tax (Vincent et al., 2013 pg. 196).

On the other hand, the climate change policy will also affect the wheat production through the increased energy cost. Meaning, the wheat farmers will now be compelled to pay more for diesel fuel, fertilizer, electricity, as well as the pesticides used on the farms. Consequently, the effects of these increased costs in the production levels will be felt in the in the market (Asseng et al., 2015 pg. 143). The agricultural sector may also be affected with the increased cost if the agricultural emission of the greenhouse gases is subjected to cap in future forcing the wheat farmers to limit the emissions of gases associated with the production of wheat such as the methane gas and the nitrous oxide gases.

The opportunities

The Agricultural sector depends heavily on weather and climate of a given region. Thus, the climate change policies are advantageous as they are aimed at reducing the carbon levels stabilizing climate in return. The reduction in emission and the new technologies put in place will enable the wheat farmers to develop new strategies to ensure they maximize their productions while conforming to the policies in place. The wheat farmers can also engage in carbon farming to help reduce the levels of carbon. Soils are naturally rich in carbon, containing about 5 percent of the total percentage on earth (Vincent et al., 2013 pg. 197). However, soil can accommodate more than five percent of the carbon weight in the organic matter form which are decomposing matters of plant and animals.

However, the agricultural techniques that have been used in the modern days such as plowing have contributed significantly to reducing the carbon percentage in the soil while introducing the carbon into the earth's atmosphere. Thus, an introduction of the carbon farming techniques will help in reducing the carbon content in the atmosphere by burring the organic contents in the soil.

Outline adaptation strategies

There is no fit strategy that can be implemented by the wheat producers in their response to the climate change. Every individual farmer ought to come up with initiatives in an attempt to mitigate climate-related costs as well as risks within their value chains. Every individual farmer must note that the climate change is costly to their crops. Nonetheless, there are common strategies that can be implemented by every farmer. These strategies include crisis response, modification of crops types, and modification of the farming practices, diversifications, and resource management (Wheeler & Braun, 2013 pg. 136).

References

Asseng, S., Ewert, F., Martre, P., Rotter, R.P., Lobell, D.B., Cammarano, D., Kimball, B.A., Ottman, M.J., Wall, G.W., White, J.W. and Reynolds, M.P., 2015. Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production. Nature Climate Change, 5(2), p.143.

Aboriginal Carbon Fund. 2018. ERF - how it happened. [online] Available at: http://aboriginalcarbonfund.com.au/erf-how-it-happened/ [Accessed 2 Jun. 2018].

Burke, M., Hsiang, S.M. and Miguel, E., 2015. Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production. Nature, 527(7577), pp.235-239.

Ekins, P., Pollitt, H., & Summerton, P. (2016). Increasing carbon and material productivity through environmental tax reform.

Kelley, C.P., Mohtadi, S., Cane, M.A., Seager, R. and Kushnir, Y., 2015. Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(11), pp.3241-3246.

Lubcke, T. 2013. A Review of the Viability of the Coalition's "Direct Action Plan."

Rootes, C., 2014. A referendum on the carbon tax? The 2013 Australian election, the Greens, and the environment. Environmental Politics, 23(1), pp.166-173.

Semenov, M.A. 2009. Impacts of climate change on wheat in England and Wales. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 6 33, 343-50.

Vincent, K., Cull, T., Chanika, D., Hamazakaza, P., Joubert, A., Macome, E., & Mutonhodza-Davies, C. (2013). Farmers' responses to climate variability and c...

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