Millmerran farmers talk weather with experts

November 1, 2017

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Pictured are Peter Doherty, Bitadirt, Millmerran, Jeff Chandler, Canning Creek Pastoral, Millmerran and USQ Climate Scientist Dave McRae.

Farmers learned to use climate forecasts to inform management decisions at a recent workshop in Millmerran which looked at how to use the various weather forecasting tools available.

On the back of some useful spring rain, QMDC invited Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Climate Scientist David McRae to talk to landholders about climate forecasting at a property level.

QMDC’s Project Officer Paul Webb said the workshop gave graziers and croppers skills to use climate indicators and forecasts to manage opportunities and risks associated with variable rainfall and temperature.

 "There was a call from landholders to get a better handle on how to make timely property management decisions based on climate forecasts,” Mr Webb said.

“This is the first workshop to be held in the Millmerran district for several years and there has been a lot of interest.

“Landholders can access and better understand current forecasts to identify opportunities and risks for their businesses in the current season.”

Mr McRae spoke about the extent of climate variability in Australia, the role of sea surface temperatures and features around drivers such as the SOI, ENSO and European climate models.

He explained the basics of climate drivers and how these were used to produce seasonal forecasts.

“Some of the forecasting tools are more reliable at different times of the year depending on where you are,” Mr McRae said.

“Farmers need to make informed decisions on forecasts they see in the media, to determine the reliability for their part of the world, and to estimate the differences in median rainfall,” he said.

Mr Webb said there was a wealth of local experience in the interpretation of climate forecasting tools between QDAF and USQ.

“We really want to make these available to those on the ground making land management decisions,” he said.

QMDC is looking to run more workshops with anyone interested urged to contact the Toowoomba office on (07) 4637 6200.

The seasonal climate forecasting workshop series is supported by QMDC, Millmerran Landcare, DAF and the University of Southern Queensland through funding from the Queensland Government’s Drought Mitigation Centre.

For more information visit: USQ Environmental Sciences website

Media contact: QMDC Project Officer, Paul Webb on mobile 0429 644 421

Released by QMDC Regional Communication Officer Donna Hurley, ph 0427 749 436

Toowoomba Office

127b Campbell Street (corner of Campbell and Bellevue)

PO Box 6243 Toowoomba West QLD 4350

P (07) 4637 6200 F (07) 4632 8062 E info@qmdc.org.au

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