Article Summary: Sustainable farming is more than a concept; it is a practical set of remedies for the challenges posed by a warming world. This article addresses the challenges of farming under extreme weather conditions, offering practical solutions. Key strategies include sustainable farming methods like agroforestry, regular irrigation, and growing heat-resistant crops. The use of technology in agriculture is also highlighted for its ability to monitor weather patterns, optimise water usage, and tailor farming strategies to prevailing conditions. These approaches are essential for maintaining crop health and resilience in increasingly harsh climates.

The world is getting hotter; there’s no denying it. And it is a huge threat to crops and farming success worldwide. It’s one of modern farming’s greatest challenges.

At home, Australia has recorded its hottest summers in recent years, followed by droughts and extreme climate change. A large area of New South Wales is currently suffering from drought conditions. Meanwhile, floods have wreaked havoc in large areas of Queensland, and bushfires and cyclones have wreaked havoc across the country. Unfortunately, Australia's farmers are bearing the brunt of the consequences of these extreme weather events, where national farm production has begun to fall.

On a global level, the agricultural land in Europe and North America has increased its risk of annual drought from 32% through to 53% by the end of this century. This speed of change poses a critical threat to energy, food production, and water supplies. Moreover, the cost of these damages is expected to increase dramatically.

A notable example is the 2017 flash drought in the Dakotas and Montana, which resulted in a staggering US$2.6 billion in agricultural losses in the US alone.

So, how can you keep farming in these conditions? We’ll take a look and give you some tips.

Recent heat events affecting global farming and agriculture

Here are some numbers to show you the scale of the issue:

Agricultural production in Australia fell from 2.9% to 2.4% of GDP during the Millennium Drought, which lasted from 1997 to 2009. Between 2002 and 2009, rice production in Southeast Australia fell by 99%, while wheat yields fell by 12% compared to pre-drought levels.

This extreme weather is a significant threat to agriculture, water supplies, and energy. Last year, the 2022 summer drought in Europe disrupted water plants badly due to the low river level from decreased rainfall. This is a warning of future challenges. Last summer, Southern China experienced extreme weather, with persistent heat and drought wreaking havoc on crop yields. This is widespread and something to be aware of.

How to get agroforestry right in fighting climate change

Your lives are growing more complex with the rise of global warming and the threat of heat, flash droughts and climate disruption. Agroforestry, or incorporating trees and shrubs into farming practices, is a sustainable approach that provides numerous benefits. It helps with carbon sequestration biodiversity and provides shade for crops, reducing stress caused by extreme heat. 

Here are some tips for introducing it on your farm:

  • Plant as many shrubs and trees as possible to avoid heat hazards.

  • Cover sustainable farming and any solutions it provides

  • There are a few things that you can do to protect your fields during a heatwave:

  • Keep your crops well-watered. Irrigate them frequently so the plants can access water every time in high temperatures. 

  • Use the shade of cloth or other materials to provide relief from direct scorching sunlight. This can prevent your crops from drying and damaging from heat. 

  • Increase the growth of heath-tolerant crops if possible. There are a lot of plants that can endure high temperatures without drying or wilting. 

  • Use covers of mulch to reduce evaporation from the soil. This will keep your land moist and prevent it from drying completely. 

  • Use sprinklers during this extreme heat cycle to keep your yields cool and hydrated. 

  • Keep a close eye on weather forecasts. Prepare yourself and your crops for upcoming weather conditions. Take steps to protect your crops by closely monitoring the signs of stress and addressing them accordingly.

What is the role of agritech in minimising these heat effects?

As the farming world is battling extreme global temperatures, technological applications, including drones, satellites, AI, and optical sensors, are helping farmers beat the heat. By embracing these technological innovations in agriculture, you can make your farming sustainable in any weather.

Here’s how agritech can help you on your farm:

  • You can monitor real-time weather patterns to detect any temperature spike. 

  • You can achieve more precise irrigation methods, reducing water wastage and stress on crops. 

  • You can use data analytics to assess the different varieties of crops that are heat resistant. 

  • You can enhance precision farming by tailoring cultivation strategies to prevailing conditions. 

  • You can conduct aerial surveys of your crops and monitor their conditions through drones or satellite-based technologies. 

  • It can provide you with real-time data and weather forecasts and give you time to plan strategically for your pasture health and productivity.

Your farm, pastures and crops face multiple challenges throughout the year.

But there is hope. Incorporating agtech solutions in crop management not only improves crop resilience to extreme heat but also promotes sustainable and efficient farming practices.
Want to learn more about how’s Pio app can help you beat the heat? Learn more here about what we can do to ensure your farming success.

Until we meet again, Happy Farming!

- The Dedicated Team of, 2023-12-28