MANAGING CLIMATE VARIABILITY R&D PROGRAM

Climate is the biggest individual driver of production variability in agriculture, and accounts for one-third to two-thirds of annual global crop yield variability. Over two decades, the Managing Climate Variability Program (MCV) has been the lead research and development program in Australia for providing climate knowledge to primary producers and natural resource managers. We give them better forecasts, practical climate tools and products, as well as case studies of people who are incorporating climate risk information into their business decisions. The aim has been to help primary producers and natural resource managers manage the risks, and exploit the opportunities, resulting from Australia’s variable and changing climate, by:

  • improving the accuracy of forecasting on timeframes of value for primary production;
  • providing climate information and tools for managing climate risk; and
  • increasing knowledge and confidence to adopt climate risk management.

Our latest funding period (MCV V) runs from 2016 to 2020. Our program builds on more than two decades of climate research by its predecessor, the Climate Variability in Agriculture Program, established under the National Drought Policy in 1992 and extended under the Advancing Australian Agriculture initiative in 1998. The program’s consecutive funding periods have supported research through Managing Climate Variability I, II, III, IV and now V.

RESEARCH PRIORITIES

MCV has supported research for over 20 years; our completed projects reflect this body of work. Independent evaluations show that the research and development we have supported is substantial, with high benefit-to-cost ratios. For each dollar spent, there has been a return of over $6.60.

Our 2016–20 strategy is to invest in the following four areas:

CLIMATE FORECASTING RESEARCH

We are funding climate science projects aimed at improving the skill and value of climate forecasts and outlooks, particularly from multi-week to intra-seasonal periods. Our projects focus on issues of interest to agriculture, such as forecasting extreme events (droughts, heatwaves and frosts) and investing in improved modelling capability. In 2014, The Centre for International Economics (The CIE) estimated the potential value of improved seasonal climate forecasts for the agricultural sector and for other sectors of Australia’s economy. The potential value for the agricultural sector is significant (ranges from $958 to $1,930 million per year), and much greater than the potential value for other sectors in the economy. With even more climate variability expected under climate change, they expect that value to increase.

CLIMATE FORECASTING SERVICES

We continue to invest in delivering climate products by translating climate forecasting research outputs into climate forecasting products and services for Australian agriculture.

CLIMATE RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE

We support research into decision-support applications and products. By investing in tools such as the CliMate app, we are giving farmers information in more convenient and accessible formats to support their on-farm climate risk management decisions.

CLIMATE KNOWLEDGE AND COMMUNICATION

We continue to support knowledge and communication activities. Our investment in this area is focused on increasing awareness and promoting adoption of climate risk management practices on-farm through the Climate Kelpie website and other communication products.

CURRENT PROJECTS

RURAL R&D FOR PROFIT – SEASONAL FORECASTING

The project focuses on improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability. Learn more >

RURAL R&D FOR PROFIT – FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED

The project will deliver direct value to farmers through providing outlooks for extreme climate events, equipping farmers with the information and tools to be forewarned and prepared. Learn more>

PARTNERS

PUBLICATIONS

CONTACT

Program enquiries
Mr Russell Pattinson
Director, Miracle Dog
Phone: (03) 5429 1868
miracledog@bigpond.com
Mr Doug McNicholl
Value Chain Relationship Manager
Meat and Livestock Australia
Phone: (07) 3620 5203
dmcnicholl@mla.com.au
Communication enquiries and website feedback
Birchip Cropping Group
Phone: (03) 5492 2787
climatekelpie@bcg.org.au