New guide to help growers understand seasonal forecasts

By Rodney Woods

Year-to-year climate variability is a major source of risk to the profitability of Australia's grain growers.

Yet effective use of seasonal climate forecasts can assist growers in potentially reducing the financial impact of that risk, especially in years that sit outside the ‘average’.

To support growers in their efforts to better understand and utilise the seasonal forecast information available, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, in conjunction with Agriculture Victoria, has published A guide for farmers in using seasonal forecasts in south-eastern Australia.

“Many growers and their advisers are aware of seasonal climate forecasts but are unsure how to best use the information in decision making,” GRDC southern grower relations manager Randall Wilksch said.

“We want to address this challenge by encouraging the most effective use of the latest climate information to improve profit and risk management for our grain growers.”

The guide provides examples of where and when seasonal forecasts can be particularly useful to growers.

It also includes case studies of growers, who detail their experiences and the tactics they have employed to reduce the impact of climate variability.

The information presented in the guide draws on the knowledge and experiences of not only grain growers, but also advisers and researchers about how and when seasonal forecasts can aid in farm enterprise decision making.

The guide has been generated out of the GRDC’s ‘Using seasonal forecast information and tools to manage risk and increase profitability in the southern region’ investment.

This project is being led by Graeme Anderson and Dale Grey from Agriculture Victoria, who also lead the extension of the successful ‘The Break’ suite of communication products across the southern region.

The new guide is available at:

More guidance on interpreting weather forecasts can be found at: