A review of meteorological data from 1957 to 2010 for areas adjacent to the coastal fringe of northern New South Wales indicates that the summer season is increasing in length. The first frost day has been delayed over that time by up to 35 days, with the first 28 degrees Centigrade day occurring up to 49 days earlier. Such changes favour an increase in the abundance and distribution of tropical grasses, including several important weeds. Increases in the distribution and severity of tropical pests and diseases are also likely. Several options are available to beef producers wanting to adapt to these changes. The first is to increase Bos indicus herd content. Brahman cattle are adapted to grazing in the tropics and well documented research has shown that Brahman infused cows can increase gross margins by 10-50% in those areas. The second option is for producers to utilise the additional, lower quality, pasture produced by tropical grasses using supplements. Finally producers can conserve the additional summer growth. Note that although these management strategies have been already implemented by many coastal NSW producers, climate change is making these practices pertinent to a wider audience.


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