Preparing for the Future with Climate Services for Agriculture

The updated Climate Services for Agriculture (CSA) prototype is now available to help farmers and people on the land prepare for the future. 

Developed in collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, the CSA platform is made possible by funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF) which aims to provide secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives. 

The CSA prototype makes climate information more accessible and useful for farmers, industry, and rural and regional communities. It aims to build resilience within communities by enabling them to anticipate what local climates might look like in the future, how the future climate could impact production of key commodities, and what can be done to prepare. 

The platform shows historical climate averages between 1961 and 1990, recent climate data from 1991 to 2020, as well as climate projections for 2030, 2050 and 2070 (based on different emissions scenarios). All information is relevant to users’ locations, with national coverage at a 5 km squared scale. ​​​​​​​

‘This tool will help farmers hone their drought preparedness and increase resilience to changing conditions. By knowing the historical climate and future projections, farmers can use this data to plan for the future,’ said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Sigrid Tijs, Climate Services for Agriculture Program Lead. 

Available data includes temperature, rainfall, heat and frost risk, seasonal forecasts as well as specific information for commodities such as beef, sheep, wheat, almonds, apples, barley, canola, and lupins. More commodities will be added in the future.

‘We are seeking feedback from farmers and others working in the agricultural sector to make sure the platform is practical and meets their needs – we want them to log on, look around and tell us what they think,’ said Sigrid. 

For more information about CSA visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment website. To register interest in future involvement in its development contact DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au.

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