Forecasts for Profit
This two-year investment (2018 & 2019) recognised the importance of year-to-year climate variability as a major source of risk to grain grower profitability in the southern region. This applied Research Development and Extension (RD&E) project collaborated with the grains industry to improve the way we can communicate and use imperfect, though improving, seasonal climate forecast information.
The project has three main components:
- Extending the "The Break" seasonal forecast commentary to cover the whole GRDC southern region. This includes specific monthly products for each of South Australian, Victorian, and Tasmanian growers.
- Working closely with about 20 advisors from South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania through two workshops to explore if and how seasonal climate forecasts can be better incorporated into the management of grain farms.
- Create a summary publication with case studies and worked examples to assist GRDC Southern Region growers and advisors on the use of seasonal forecast information to better target crop inputs, manage risk and increase profitability
The project will be led by Graeme Anderson and Dale Grey from Agriculture Victoria. In addition to overall project management, they will lead the extension of the successful “The Break” suite of communication products across the southern region.
The development and running of the workshops with 20 advisors will be led by Peter Hayman (SARDI) working with Barry Mudge (low rainfall farmer from SA and Mudge consulting) and Mark Stanley (Regional Connections, SA).
Federation University will support the project with innovative web resources and seasonal forecast information that will be packaged specifically for farmers in the GRDC southern region.
This project is not issuing new seasonal climate forecasts but packaging the latest available information for growers in the southern region. Success for this project will see the best use of the latest climate information to improve profit and risk management for grain farms. Many grain farmers and advisers are aware of seasonal climate forecasts and often hear reports in the media about an El Nino or change in Indian Ocean Dipole but are unsure how to best use the information in decision making. This project plans to address this challenge.
Graeme Anderson - Seasonal Risk Program Manager, Agriculture Victoria Geelong is the project leader. Graeme leads Agriculture Victoria’s award winning seasonal risk team which produces ‘The Break’ climate risk communication products, Soil Moisture Monitoring Project, Climatedogs. The team won the 2011 NCCARF National Adaptation Award. Graeme is experienced in climate and seasonal risk extension to farmers across southeast Australia.
Dale Grey – leading grains agronomist with Agriculture Victoria for 24 years and editor of Victoria’s award winning ‘The Break’ seasonal forecast updates which provide timely and informative commentary on seasonal outlooks for farmers and agronomists. Dale’s enthusiasm, extension skills and networks have him at the forefront of making sense of forecast information.
Dr Peter Hayman - Principal Scientist, Climate Applications at SARDI, a position he has held since 2004. Peter started his professional life as an extension officer in NSW before receiving a scholarship from GRDC to study agroclimatic risk management. He has continued to work on managing climate risk in the grains industry since the early 1990s.
Mark Stanley – Regional Connections, SA has extensive experience in grains RD&E based in Eyre Peninsula. He recently lead an award winning agronomy training program (carbon farming outreach & extension project) across the southern region and is very well placed to use this experience and networks to deliver the agronomy training workshops.
Barry Mudge – manages a family farming property in the Upper North of SA and, combined with a successful consultancy, brings a strong practical agricultural economics focus to delivering outcomes at a farmer level. Barry’s has over 30 years of practical experience of how and where seasonal forecasts can add value for farm business profitability.
Dr Peter Dahlhaus – Federation University Vic, brings access to world class digital infrastructure, tools & experience delivering applied research with measurable impacts, with an eye for developing practical and innovative solutions in bringing data from disparate sources to improve accessibility, visualisation and profitability.
CeRDI is collaborating with Agriculture Victoria to implement a two year Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded research, development and education project to improve the methods of communicating and using imperfect, yet improving, seasonal climate forecast information. Continue reading...