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Climate change will hit farmers harder and hotter

FILE

A LEADING commodity trader has warned increasingly common extreme and volatile weather conditions will cause havoc for Queensland's agricultural producers.

Commodities trader Jonathan Barratt has warned record wet and dry periods will become more common as climate change intensifies and will dramatically impact primary producers.

Mr Barratt said July 2017 was the driest July in 118 years - and as a result of climate change similar records were being set more often.

"The volatility we have experienced in the climate in the last three years has been unprecedented. I have been predicting that climate change will shift regional weather patterns and that adverse events not only occur but be more frequent. Now it's happening," he said.

"The combined deficits of rain and higher than normal temperatures in some areas this season have sapped what moisture profiles farmers had and, as some growers close the chequebook on crops, others are contemplating if it is worth adding another layer of costs to an already thirsty crop."

Mr Barratt's warning comes just days after University of NSW research found farmland would get drier and cities flood more often under climate change.

The research paper found as global temperatures rise more evaporation would occur from moist soils in farming lands, drying them out quickly. In contrast, urban areas with more limited exposed expanses of soil would retain the moisture and become vulnerable to intense rain events.

UNSW researcher Conrad Wasko said the change was a "double whammy".

"People are increasingly migrating to cities, where flooding is getting worse. At the same time, we need adequate flows in rural areas to sustain the agriculture to supply these burgeoning urban populations," he said.

- NewsRegional

Topics:  climate change conrad wasko farming jonathan barratt primary producer rural unsw weather events

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