Australia's climate explained

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Farm sector boost

This year’s expected bumper harvest is reported to be the main driver behind Australian farm production reaching a record $58.4 billion in 2016-17.

Within this is the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences analysis showing the value of the cropping sector increasing by seven per cent to $29.2 billion.

This includes increasing gross values of horticulture, cotton and oilseeds as well as grains.

Wheat export earnings are predicted to be largely unchanged, the increased production balanced by lower prices, but earnings are tipped to rise by 40 per cent for cotton and 43 per cent for canola.

The figures put the farm sector’s overall value 60 per cent higher than 20 years ago.

Growers interested in the latest science behind the key climate drivers bringing wetter and drier conditions to Australian farms will find plenty of interest in a new series of updated ‘climatedog’ animations.

The animations feature climatedogs Ridgy, Enso, Indy and Sam. They were created to help better understand what influences the variation in Australia’s seasons.

Agriculture Victoria climate specialist Graeme Anderson says the updated climatedogs are relevant to all Australian regions and were developed to help explain how each climate driver operates. For example, Indy (Indian Ocean Dipole) has been the culprit for the wetter 2016 in south-east Australia.

The videos have also been updated with the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest science, through research funded by the Managing Climate Variability (MCV) program.

Meat and Livestock Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and Sugar Research Australia all support the MCV program, which aims to improve seasonal forecasting for Australian farmers.

Illustration of cartoon dogs

More information:

Graeme Anderson,
0419 002 641,


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