ORGANISERS of a $19 million investment into climate management hope the project will leave farmers better able to understand and manage both long and short term climate risk.
Agricultural Innovation Australia (AIA) has launched Agri-Climate Outlooks, which it will run in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology.
AIA is a not-for-profit company established to facilitate joint investment and collaboration in cross-industry agricultural issues.
The Agri-Climate Outlook program is its first foray into the climate space.
The program will look to assist with the Holy Grail for Australian farmers, more accurate seasonal outlooks that can assist with the decision making process.
This will work across several areas ranging from improving accuracy in the multi-week outlook to medium term seasonal forecasts.
While farmers have been pleased with the improved accuracy of the seven day forecast there is frustration in the reliability further out than this period.
The project will also see the establishment of a dedicated team of agri-climate specialists who will be involved in monitoring the Bureau's water and climate outlooks to identify potential opportunities and risks.
Along with this, AIA chief executive Sam Brown said a key role of the specialists will be in extension and communication space, providing the information in a relevant and digestible format for the ag sector.
Growers will also be able to participate in upskilling training to be able to better interpret climate information to assist them with their on-farm business decisions.
Online training modules will be created as well as face-to-face workshops held in regional centres.
The program will also look to roll out easy to understand, practical forecast products.
Mr Brown said that there was a focus on providing information in a meaningful way.
"For example, instead of providing the 'chance of above average temperatures for next calendar month', we would look to provide 'chance of temperatures exceeding 35 degrees during the three-week flowering period'," Mr Brown said.
There will also be work done in streamlining the Bureau's forecasts combined with their accuracy or skill.
The Bureau has more accuracy with forecasts for different parts of the country at different times of the year, impacting the degree of confidence in accuracy.
The Agri-Climate Outlook program will look to make it clearer for people using the forecasts as to whether they should be using the particular seasonal outlook product as a major factor in their decision-making.