Climate change producing hotter, drier conditions in southern Australia will force Australia's beef cattle industry north, reports Rural Management Partners' (RMP) Rural Investor Outlook.

Over the next 25 years, the importance of Australia's high-density, beef-producing southern and coastal regions will decline. Instead, cattle production will increase in the undeveloped, wetter Savannah region from the Queensland Gulf through the Northern Territory and northwest Australia, AsiaPulse reports.

“There will be a shift in traditional grazing areas from the south to the north,” says RMP business analyst Karen Caston. “Water resources will be a significant determinant of land values, so we also believe there will be substantial increases in property values in the north.”

The scenario is based on Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) data indicating average national temps in Australia could rise 0.4° C to 2.0° C by 2030. And, rainfall is expected to decrease in southwest Australia by up to 20%, and in the Southeast and parts of Queensland by 10%.

Meanwhile, CSIRO says northern Australia rainfall will likely remain stable and possibly increase. About 60% of Australia's herd is located in the southeast and southwest, but climate change and declining water resources could cut that by 25% by 2030.

RMP believes average stocking rates in the northern Savannah could triple, and holdings double in size. The Savannah region could account for 22% of the national herd in 25 years, compared to the current 7.3%.