How will livestock farmers manage after this year's weather?

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This year is on course to be the fourth hottest year on record (Carbon Brief; NOAA). The summer drought it created has caused food shortages for farmers’ livestock across Europe and Australia (ABC; DW). This has meant livestock farmers have had to use winter silage (compacted grass) just to get through summer, sell livestock that they are unable to feed, and slaughter earlier than usual. According to The Guardian there are also reports of European farmers going bankrupt too.

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Questions this article will seek to answer:

  • How will livestock farmers cope this winter if they have already used their winter feed?
  • What effect (if any) will this have on food prices?
  • How many farmers have been affected by having to sell livestock, slaughter earlier or going bankrupt and how has it affected them?
  • What government support have farmers received?
  • How can farmers better prepare for future droughts?

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