Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.03.2001

Mastering the climate

Windmill

Have you ever considered the nesting habits of scrub turkeys? No? How about historical rainfall records, chocolate wheel probability charts and Internet weather reports? These are just some of the tools farmers use to get a handle on coming weather to assess risk and improve their farm productivity.

A new web site contains 23 stories of landholder ingenuity, told through the Masters of the Climate case study series.

The case studies emerged from the testimony of 80 farmers during the Masters of the Climate competition, run by the Climate Variability in Agriculture (R&D) Program (CVAP). CVAP is supported by the Commonwealth Government and the rural R&D Corporations, and is administered by the Land and Water Resources R&D Corporation.

Barry White, CVAP Coordinator, says farmers throughout the country are adopting a wide range of innovative techniques for finding climate information and using it in farm management decisions.

"We ran the Masters of the Climate competition because we wanted to know how farmers were blending the climate predictive tools Australian scientists are developing with other unknown climate prediction tools," said Dr White.

"The 23 case studies demonstrate the wide range of information sources that land managers are accessing, how they are interpreting climate data and applying it to improve farm productivity.

"Researchers, scientists and climatologists can learn a great deal from the experiences of farmers, many of whom have been collecting and using detailed climate information over many years."

The Masters of the Climate case studies can be viewed and downloaded from www.cvap.gov.au/mastersoftheclimate