Storms and pests biggest threat to dairy
Extreme weather, the rise of new diseases and insect blight are among the biggest threats that climate change poses to the dairy sector, a new study has revealed.
The first of its kind research project, sponsored by Safefood, surveyed dairy industry stakeholders to determine their level of awareness of the potential impacts climate change could create.
Speaking at an industry conference in Dublin yesterday, Trevor Donnellan, Teagasc researcher, said the study confirmed that climate change presents both opportunities and threats for dairy.
"The threats identified in the survey included, extreme weather events, the emergence of new diseases and pests."
"By contrast the development of unfavourable climate conditions in some of the world's key milk producing countries could offer an advantage to the Irish dairy sector, since the Irish climate is likely to be less adversely affected," he said.
One of the major recommendations of the research is that more planning is required to consider how to deal with extreme weather events.
Prof Thia Hennessy, UCC department of food business and lead researcher said dairy stakeholders demonstrated "a high level of awareness" of climate change and commitment to "collective action" on any available opportunities.
Dr James McIntosh, of Safefood, the food safety promotion board, welcomed the study and the role it will play in improving public health.