Better forecasting and decision support systems for farmers and global agribusiness

Australian rural producers face the greatest climate challenges in the world, with Queensland already experiencing some of the highest levels of rainfall variability worldwide.

This climate variability is increasing and in turn, making it harder for farmers and communities to manage and survive these climate patterns.

Droughts have devastating effects worldwide, not only on farmers but also on communities.

That is why USQ has partnered with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI), to form the Queensland Drought Mitigation Centre (QDMC).

Droughts will keep coming – that is the nature of the land we live in.
Queensland experiences some of the highest levels of rainfall variability worldwide.

The QDMC offers a range of decision support tools to help producers adapt to both the current climate and to a changing climate, so they can prepare more effectively and become more resilient to droughts.

These tools will assist farmers with decisions such as when to destock in times of potential drought, which crop variety to sow or how to better manage feedlots and trading systems.

USQ researchers, from the International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (ICACS), have been analysing climate data and especially working with ‘dynamical general circulation models’, linking with leading international climate modelling centres, to identify future long term patterns and links with critical climate drivers such as El Nino, La Nina and other key systems.

This climate science is helping provide the data behind the QDMC’s decision support tools, to assist farm managers use improved seasonal forecasts in their planning, along with providing advice on climate change projections at regional levels and advising how to adapt to the changing climate.

ICACS researchers are focussing on climate research to develop integrated climate, agricultural, insurance, and water resource models to provide stronger predictive capability for regional agricultural, water planning and environmental management.

Climate plays such an integral role in the Australian farming industry, so USQ will continue to lead climate research that helps inform management practices, to assist farmers and agribusiness better prepare for extreme weather and climate events.

To prepare producers and communities of the future impacts, USQ researchers together with the Queensland Government, have developed the Climate Impact and Adaptation Series brochures. They describe the likely impacts of a variable and changing climate on the major primary industries.

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Climate Outlook and Review

Professor Roger Stone, head of USQ's International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, is one of the world's leading researchers in climate science, especially in integrating this work with key agricultural management systems.

Professor Stone's monthly Climate Outlook and Review provides valuable, timely review information regarding forthcoming climate conditions based on the current SOI phase and other key climate indicators and output from leading seasonal climate modelling centres around the world.

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Will it rain? 

The effects of El Niño and the Southern Oscillation on Australia

USQ has produced a booklet as a valuable decision support tool for the agriculture and grazing industry. It explains El Niño and the Southern Oscillation, describes what causes Queensland's weather and shows how the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) can be used to assess chances of getting rain, crop yields and grass growth and animal production. 

The topics covered will assist producers to incorporate seasonal climate forecasts in their planning, to help adapt to both the current climate and to a changing climate, so they can prepare more effectively and become more resilient to droughts.

This edition was a joint project between USQ and the Queensland Government with funding from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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Phone + 61 7 4631 5415 

Email ICACS.Admin@usq.edu.au

+ 61 7 4631 5415 
+ 61 7 4631 5415