Guiding grain growers to help manage climate variability

Grain growers use seasonal forecasting tools to their advantage

Innovation
Bronwyn and Geoff Hunt, of Normanville in Victoria, are among the grain growers featured in a series of case studies contained in a new GRDC-Agriculture Victoria publication 'A guide for farmers in using seasonal forecasts in south eastern Australia'. PHOTO Clarisa Collis

Bronwyn and Geoff Hunt, of Normanville in Victoria, are among the grain growers featured in a series of case studies contained in a new GRDC-Agriculture Victoria publication 'A guide for farmers in using seasonal forecasts in south eastern Australia'. PHOTO Clarisa Collis

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New tool released for navigating seasonal climate forecasts can help reduce crop risks.

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Year-to-year climate variability is a major source of risk to the profitability of Australia's grain growers.

Yet, effective use of seasonal climate forecasts can assist this sector in potentially reducing the financial impact of that risk - especially in years that sit outside the 'average'.

To support growers in their efforts to better understand and utilise the seasonal forecast information available, the GRDC, in conjunction with Agriculture Victoria, has published A guide for farmers in using seasonal forecasts in south eastern Australia.

Put to good use

"Many growers and their advisers are aware of seasonal climate forecasts but are unsure how to best use the information in decision making," says GRDC Grower Relations Manager - South, Randall Wilksch.

"We want to address this challenge by encouraging the most effective use of the latest climate information to improve profit and risk management for our grain growers."

The new guide provides examples of where and when seasonal forecasts can be particularly useful to growers.

It also includes case studies of growers, who detail their experiences and the tactics they have employed to reduce the impact of climate variability.

Sharing experiences

Among the growers featured in the guide are:

  • the Keam family at Lah in Victoria's Wimmera region;
  • Wayne and Terese Thomas at Youanmite in northern Victoria;
  • the Baldock family at Kimba on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula;
  • Tony and Michele Andrews at Nalyappa on SA's Yorke Peninsula;
  • the Hunt and Fenton families at Normanville in Victoria's Mallee;
  • the Carn family at Quorn and Umberatana Station in SA's Far North;
  • the Modra family at Port Lincoln on Eyre Peninsula; and
  • Barry and Kristina Mudge at Port Germein in the Upper North of SA.

The information presented in the guide draws on the knowledge and experiences of not only grain growers, but also advisers and researchers around how and when seasonal forecasts can aid in farm enterprise decision-making.

The guide has been generated out of the GRDC's 'Using seasonal forecast information and tools to manage risk and increase profitability in the south region' investment.

This project is being led by Graeme Anderson and Dale Grey, from Agriculture Victoria, who also lead the extension of the successful 'The Break' suite of communication products across the southern region.

More guidance on interpreting weather forecasts can be found in a GRDC Paddock Practices.

See also:

GRDC Research Code 9176117

More Information: Randall Wilksch, GRDC, 0437 769 098, randall.wilksch@grdc.com.au

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