Country News

Six-month rainfall predictions on the horizon

By Alana Christensen

Farmers can expect to get an in-depth and accurate analysis of their next six months of rainfall within a decade - that is if the progression in Bureau of Meterology modelling is to be believed.

The increasing accuracy of weather and climate information was just one of the the big picture agriculture issues discussed at today's Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Shepparton Regional Outlook conference, with water and the future of the dairy industry also key topics.

Given the current dry conditions, water markets and the potential effects of a recurrence of a Millennium Drought event were discussed in depth by Waterfind's Stuart Peevor and ABARES economist Mihit Gupta respectively.

The ABARES' research discussed by Mr Gupta ultimately concluded that despite less water currently available for irrigation, pivots in the water demand of industries means that southern Murray-Darling Basin water markets would likely not see price peaks higher that those experienced during the Millennium Drought.

Mr Peevor said that the time had come for more reform to the water market to deliver greater transparency regarding various costs and waiting times across regions, and simplify the wording and processes of trades.

Other speakers on the day included ABARES executive director Steve Hatfield-Dodds, the Bureau of Meterology Vernon Carr and Murray Dairy's Jenny Wilson.

See next week's Country News for more.