THE CLIMATE KELPIE BLOG: Insights into Barriers & Bridges to the producer adoption of Seasonal Climate Forecasts

Posted by BCG on 24th June 2022

Improving seasonal Forecasts value for growers  

Seasonal Climate Forecasts (SCFs) have the potential to be beneficial to many in the agricultural industries, but they have had variable uptake. Dr. Geoff Kuehne Director of Meaningful Social Research recently completed a report funded by MLA and the Australian Government titled: Insights into Barriers and Bridges to the producer adoption of seasonal climate forecasts.  

The study examined why the barriers to the use of SCFs exist and proposes bridges to increase their value and therefore use for growers and advisers.  

Results/key findings  

This work confirms the findings of Taylor et al (2021) that a large proportion of growers are aware of SCFs but many have made little use of them beyond their initial engagement.  

The study showed there are three factors that are influential in encouraging growers’ more informed use of SCFs.  

1. Usable design: SCFs need to be designed for growers as a result of testing and multiple engagements with these growers and advisors.  

2. Appropriate communication: Those using SCFs need to be trained in how to use each tool and understand what the concepts of probabilities and forecast skill level actually mean for them when making decisions. Clear communication will help users understand for example that low skill level may mean that at times these tools should not be used. This understanding needs to be central in communication.  

3. From awareness to value: Growers need to be provided with tools they see value in. When SCF outputs to climate risky decisions are communicated to users, the information used to demonstrate the output needs to be relevant to each grower’s region and specific to their situation.  

These key findings will assist those involved in developing, promoting and using SCFs to better understand what could be changed to increase their appropriate use, which will over time lead to improved profitability for agriculture. 

The full report can be viewed below

B.CCH_.2122-Final-Report

For more information on the report contact: 

Dr. Geoff Kuehne  

Director, Meaningful Social Research  

geoffkuehne@gmail.com 

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