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Climate Variability

Merino ewes and Merino lambs, western NSW.

Improved climate forecasting that allows woolgrowers to better match stocking rates to feed availability is a priority for the long-term sustainability and productivity of Australia's wool industry.

AWI is working to provide woolgrowers with practical tools and tactics to manage climate variability while maintaining productivity.

Land, Water and Wool

Land, Water & Wool (LWW) was the wool industry's nation-wide program to develop better ways of management for more profit and a healthier environment. The LWW Managing Climate Variability sub-program worked with pastoral zone woolgrowers to make more effective use of improved seasonal climate forecasts in grazing management decisions.

Six national Managing Climate Variability projects had ongoing, direct contact with more than 1,000 woolgrowers through newsletters, on-line resources, local workshops and grower groups. The project increased woolgrower awareness and use of seasonal forecasts in sustainable grazing management decisions in drought-prone regions.

Climate champions

AWI supports the Climate Champions program to improve communication between scientists and farmers about managing climate risk. Three AWI-funded woolgrowers joined the Climate Champions program to:

  • Get information about climate-related research out to other woolgrowers.
  • Inform researchers about the forecasts, tools and information that woolgrowers and other farmers need to manage climate risk.

Further information

Southern Livestock Adaptation 2030 is a detailed climate modelling project based upon regional data from both researchers and producers from across 80 locations. For more information on the project and its findings visit the PICCC's Southern Livestock Adaptation page.

Betting on Rain - a guide to tools for managing seasonal risk, based on climatological data and the findings from the Managing Climate Variability sub program of Land, Water & Wool.  View or download here (PDF 2.8Mb).

Climate Champions - 37 farmers working to improve communication between scientists and farmers about managing climate risk:

Australian CliMate - a suite of climate analysis tools for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Use the App allows to interrogate climate records (over the last 60 years), and ask questions relating to rainfall, temperature, radiation, heat sums, soil water and soil nitrate. Visit: Australian CliMate

FarmGAS calculator - estimate your farm's annual greenhouse gas emissions, both at the individual enterprise activity level and for the farm as a whole, then examine the financial impacts that different greenhouse mitigation options may have on farm business profitability. Developed by the Australian Farm Institute. Visit FarmGAS.

Climate links - a range of on-line resources are available to woolgrowers wanting to better manage climate risk:

  • Climate Kelpie - connects woolgrowers to tools and information about climate to help make farm business decisions. Visit: www.climatekelpie.com.au/
  • Long Paddock - climate management information for rural Australia.  Visit: www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/
  • Water and the Land - the Bureau of Meteorology's integrated suite of on-line information for primary producers, natural resource managers, industry, trade and commerce. The website brings together a range of services from rainfall forecasts for the week ahead to climate change and trend maps in an easily accessible and intuitive way. Visit www.bom.gov.au/watl/