Create more skilful multi-week seasonal forecasts of Australian climate at regional scales. We will measure how much POAMA-3 forecast skill has improved from POAMA-2. We will identify priority areas to improve POAMA, then trial them in POAMA-3. By conducting hindcasts, we will test the improvements for Australian regional forecast skill and ready them to be incorporated into POAMA-3.

Current investment in the Managing Climate Variability program (MCV) is entering its final year of funding. Independent evaluators updated a 2013 economic evaluation of the impacts of the MCV program, doing a benefit–cost analysis for years ending 30 June 2009 to 2016. Compared to previous…

This projected conducted an economic evaluation (benefit–cost analysis) of MCV’s investment for years ending 30 June 2009 to 2016. Of the benefits identified in the evaluation, the principal benefit was a general increase in farm profits. The total investment of $24.1 million in present value was estimated to produce total gross benefits of $160.3 million in present value, providing a net present value of $136.2 million. The benefit–cost ratio was 6.64 to 1 and the internal rate of return was 48.2%.

The project assessed the potential economic returns of investing a further 5 years of research and development in the MCV program, Phase V. The total investment of $13.5 million in present value was estimated to produce total benefits of $105.5 million in present value, providing a net present value of $92.0 million. The rate of return was also high, including a benefit–cost ratio of 7.8 to 1 (over 30 years, using a 5% discount rate) and an internal rate of return of 46%.

CliMag edition 26 is now available – our free newsletter, published once a year, keeps you up-to-date with our research, and how our research findings are being applied in agriculture and natural resource management.

$1.8 million funding has been announced for a farmer-focused seasonal forecasting project, reaffirming climate as one of the most important drivers of agricultural production in Australia. In early May, the Australian Government confirmed support of the three-year project, which brings together MCV partners and others, lead by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

Farmers in the Top End can now find out whether the first rainfalls of the wet season are likely to arrive earlier than usual, with the introduction of the Bureau of Meteorology’s new northern rainfall onset outlook. The new service is the result of research that began in 2010, co-funded by Managing Climate Variability rural research partners and the Bureau.