Above: Seasonal risk agronomist Dale Boyd with soil M probes. Dale delivers monthly YouTube climate updates available through the Agriculture Victoria website.
Agriculture Victoria provides a range of services to support farmers and advisers to manage the risks associated with seasonal variability and climate change.
Drawing on the expertise of primary producers, researchers and educators, the latest science on seasonal forecasting and climate change adaptation is packaged in a variety of tools and resources.
The best place to start is the Agriculture Victoria website at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au. From the home page of the website go to agriculture, then farm management, then weather and climate. A series of online seminars called webinars are available. There are links to recorded webinars on a diverse range of topics from modelling the impacts of climate change on soil carbon in the pastures of western Victoria, to new soil, water and climate applications to enable better decision making on farms.
Seasonal climate update webinars by seasonal risk agronomist Dale Grey are also available. Webinars are a great way of hearing from and interacting with guest speakers and are recorded, so they can be viewed at any time.
For short, sharp, seasonal forecast outlooks you can subscribe to The Fast Breaknewsletter. Enter your email address to receive a monthly newsletter detailing oceanic and atmospheric climate driver activity, summarised three-month model predictions for the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and rainfall and temperature for Victoria.
The Fast Breaknewsletter section of the website also has links to monthly YouTube clips that summarise Victorian rainfall and describe credible seasonal outlooks from world leading forecast models. The YouTube clips cover stored soil moisture levels, crop growing conditions and the latest climate risk information for Victoria. In a recent survey 90 per cent of farmers who responded said that the information provided through these resources had improved their ability to manage seasonal variability and risk.
Information on what influences climate over the medium to long term is available through the climate dogs animations. These animations use different breeds of dogs to model the drivers that influence Victoria’s climate. The dogs provide an easily understood science summary of short and long-term weather patterns, climate variability and change.
The weather and climate webpages also provide links to useful weather forecast sites that show expected rainfall for the weeks ahead.
For short, sharp, seasonal forecast outlooks you can subscribe to The Fast Break newsletter.
Information on what’s happening to soil moisture levels in dryland cropping regions is available through the Risk Management Through Soil Moisture Monitoring Project (select soil moisture monitoring under the weather and climate page on the website). Farmers can subscribe to the newsletter and access real time information on soil moisture from probes across 16 sites, to help guide their decisions around sowing and crop selection. The newsletter also links to other national soil moisture information.
Agriculture Victoria also recently collaborated with the Australian Government Fertcare Carbon Farming Extension Project to produce new nitrogen use efficiency and nitrous oxide and soil carbon resources. Go to www.fertilizer.org.au and then to Fertcare to find these resources in the nutrients and fertiliser information.
There are in depth reports and summaries of the latest science, knowledge and best management practices for protecting soils, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximising returns through better soil carbon and nitrogen fertiliser management.
Liz Hamilton is a Knowledge Broker Seasonal Risk for Agriculture Victoria. For more information contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org