Future thinking, resilient, profitable and competitive rural industries will be those industries that actively consider what is coming next and are well placed to respond.

Improved used of seasonal forecasting will help farmers make the best of climate forecasts to maximise their productivity and their profits.

AgriFutures Australia has been awarded a grant through the first round of the Rural R&D for Profit Programme to deliver a project called Improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability.

This project will bridge the gap between seasonal climate forecasts and on-farm decision making.

The project will identify the critical information relating to seasonal climate risks by sector, type of decision and region.

Through the provision of tools, information and training, farmers will see the unrealised potential in existing seasonal climate forecasts and apply them to on-farm decision making.

Deliverables

  • A map of decision-making requirements relevant for seasonal climate forecasting information for different primary industry sectors
  • A framework that defines the value of seasonal forecasts and illustrates how to apply seasonal forecasts to farm business decision making and the value of doing so
  • A series of case studies that include bio-economic modelling to assess the benefits of applying seasonal forecasts within an industry sector in a region
  • A ‘Community of Practice’ to provide a forum for farmers and advisers to engage with practice specialists and climate practitioners
  • Access for farmers and advisers to the latest climate information and understanding in relation to business decision making.

The three-year project started in June 2015 and will be completed by 30 June 2018.

Project funding

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit Program.

Under the Rural R&D for Profit program, AgriFutures Australia received:

Grant funding: $1,829,249

Cash contributions: $900,973

In-kind contributions: $829,226

Total project resources: $3,559,448

Collaborators

  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)
  • Sugar Research Australia (SRA)
  • Bureau of Meteorology(BOM)
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria (DEDJTR)
  • Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA)
  • South Australian Research and Development Initiative (SARDI)
  • University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
  • Monash University.

Final report and appendicies

Improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability

Download

Appendix 1: Literature review and NSW DPI Case studies

Download

Appendix 2: Outline of the S2S (sub-seasonal to seasonal) prediction project

Download

Appendix 3: Examples and calculations of the statistics of 'actual forecast skill' using the selection of previously tested systems for Australia

Download

Appendix 4: Updated findings on the skill and timeliness of forecasts

Download

Appendix 6: An overview of the forecast assessment ('hit rates' and LEPS scores)

Download

Appendix 7: Matrix of key issues raised during user workshops

Download

Appendix 8: Case study events and periods of concern to provide details of appropriate forecast systems now tested and available to users

Download

Appendix 9: Summary of further detailed discussion and workshops with northern Australian industry groups

Download

Appendix 10: Listing of skill maps by season and forecast source

Download

Appendix 11: NSW DPI KPI progress in the current reporting period

Download

Appendix 12: Australian seasonal forecasting Community of Practice; implementation strategy

Download

Appendix 13: The opportunities and barriers to the use of seasonal climate forecasts

Download

Appendix 15: Tools and services presented to the Seasonal Climate Forecasting Community of Practice

Download

Appendix 16: Managing Climate Variability Program

Download

Appendix 17: BCG KPI progress in the current reporting period

Download

Appendix 18: The workshop on climate and production systems; Plan, Prepare and Prosper

Download

Appendix 19: Detailed responses regarding barriers and enablers, as suggested by respondents

Download

Appendix 20: Suggested decisions and comments on decision context and forecast information

Download