USQ00020 - Australian CliMate Development

Project Summary

Project Start Date
1 October 2015
Project End Date
30 September 2017
Supervisor Name
Yahya Abawi
Organisation
University of Southern Queensland
Region
South, North, West
Summary

Managing risk and uncertainty is a crucial skill in Australian agriculture. Much of this uncertainty comes from the variable nature of our climate, whether the enterprise is grazing, cropping, horticulture or bee keeping. Long term data and recent weather data along with seasonal forecasts are valuable in informing growers of system status (e.g. soil water, heat sum, radiation) and probabilities of future events (e.g. planting opportunities, seasonal rainfall, extremes in temperature).

Australian CliMate has been developed to provide ready access to recent and long term weather data to support decision making. The current version of Australian CliMate has the following analyses: How Often?, How Hot -Cold?, Season’s progress?, How wet? Nitrogen?, How likely?, How’s El Nino? and How’s the Past?

The aims of this project are:

  • to maintain the code, data access and server support;
  • improve security of data access from Silo;
  • add the Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA) seasonal forecast capability from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM);
  • add a Potential Yield Calculator (PYCalc) ;
  • add a Drought analysis;
  • add a Trend analysis; and
  • evaluate user preferences and the role of CliMate in decision making

The current version of CliMate has been developed for iOS and WWW platforms. Given the popularity of Android devices (current market share of around 67%) and annual growth of about 3%, the CliMate app with all its features will also be developed for Android native devices through this project.

The benefits of the projects will be:

  • maintain the highly successful Australian CliMate for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone) and WWW (all computer and smart phone systems);
  • add to the functionality of CliMate by linking to POAMA seasonal forecasts, providing a simple WUE based yield estimation analysis, a drought development alert; and
  • learn how a decision support System (DSS's) such as CliMate adds value to decision making (evaluation)

The project will deliver by building on feedback from the recently developed Australian CliMate and experience gained from growers and advisors using decision support tools.

The project team will actively pursue a communication strategy to promote CliMate through a series of bi-monthly articles, social media and scientific forums. This will be customised for each region with examples of where it can be applied and how The new analytics being incorporated in the current version and survey results will help to adjust to season/region once we better understand the pattern of usage to better target messages.

Published Date
24 October 2016
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