The Bureau of Meteorology says it is shifting focus to develop agricultural products that target the farm sector’s biggest players.
BoM general manager agriculture Peter Stone said the agency would focus on developing new products for the top 20 per cent of businesses that deliver 80pc of value in the sector.
“We are going to shift our focus from public to the private sector because that is where the value is,” Mr Stone told the Agricultural and Resource Economics and Statistics 2018 Outlook conference.
Noting the potential burgeoning market for weather data, Mr Stone said for every $100 spent on primary production, $40 was spent on services.
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Under the pitch to consumers ‘forwarned is forearmed’, the BoM is seeking to partner with third party providers to deliver weather services to “where the value is created”.
“We’re not going to assume the Bureau is best placed to deliver industry solutions for weather or climate. There’s plenty of people out there with fresh ideas,” Mr Stone said.
”We’re actively going to enable partners to develop new products for the ag sector.”
“This isn’t a thought bubble... it’s a deep part of the Burau’s strategy.”
But the BoM’s existing offering to agriculture would be maintained and "smaller players will retain unlimited access to services”, Mr Stone said.
“Don’t get the idea we are going to ignore the 80pc of players that create 20pc of the value.”
“They'll retain undiminished access to the continually improving public offer of the Bureau”