Climate Services for Agriculture

The 2021-22 Federal Budget provides an additional $5 million  to continue development of the Platform.

The Climate Services for Agriculture program will help build the drought resilience of Australian agriculture by providing accessible and relevant climate information.

A prototype digital platform

The first release of the prototype Climate Services for Agriculture digital platform enables Australian farmers to access historical climate information and future projections in one location.

The first-generation prototype draws on existing national datasets to present historical and projected climate information at a 5 km2 scale - including rainfall, temperature, heat risk, frost risk and evapotranspiration. Seasonal forecasts are not included in this first version of the prototype but may be integrated in future.

The prototype is just the beginning.  We’re going to keep working with farmers in 4 pilot regions to understand how future climate could impact the commodities they produce and provide practical information to assist with business planning. Pilot regions are located in the North Queensland Dry Tropics, Condamine and Northern Tablelands, Victorian Mallee and south-east South Australia and Western Australian sheep-wheat belt.

We need feedback from farmers and others working in the agricultural sector to make sure the platform is practical and meets your needs – log on, look around and tell us what you think!

Explore the prototype

Access the prototype with the following credentials:

  • username: csa
  • password: demo

Please note:

  • The platform is in prototype phase and will be developed into an operational platform by June 2022.
  • The prototype is being used to deliver relevant data and insights at national scale and is focussed on the four pilot regions for consultation, evaluation and feedback purposes.
  • The prototype is best viewed on a desktop computer using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari.
  • System performance may be variable for some locations in Australia.

Designing with farmers

We’re working with the agriculture sector in 4 pilot regions to better understand what future climate patterns could mean for the commodities they produce – for example, how changes to the timing and quantity of growing season rain could impact wheat production in south-west Western Australia. By the end of the year, we expect to have this type of information available for key commodities across the pilot regions, including for wheat, beef, sheep, and barley, with more to come.

The timeline below sets out what’s expected to be delivered and when, and will be further developed with input from farmers in pilot regions.

Delivery timeline

March 2021
  • Pilot regions established in Queensland Dry Tropics, Condamine and Northern Tablelands, Victorian Mallee and south-east South Australia and south-west Western Australia sheep-wheat belt.
  • User engagement commenced to support the development of prototype platform
July 2021
  • Prototype platform launched, including:
    • Historical and future looking climate information at a 5km2 scale across the country.
    • Historical and future projected rainfall, temperature, heat risk, frost risk and evapotranspiration provided nationally.
    • Climate impact information for wheat and cattle production in pilot regions.
July – November 2021
  • Engagement with farmers in pilot regions to support development of the platform.
December 2021
  • Update to the platform to provide:
    • Climate impact information for more commodities in pilot regions, including sheep, barley, grapes, oranges, eggs & poultry, cotton, sugar cane and tomatoes
    • Information modules on future water availability, agricultural productivity, and natural capital.
January – May 2022
  • Engagement with farmers in pilot regions to support development of the platform.
June 2022
  • Update to the platform to provide:
    • Climate impact information for more commodities in pilot regions, including melons, capsicums, apples, almonds, canola, and lupins.
    • Information modules on social resilience, finance, and markets

User engagement in pilot regions

We have established four pilot regions to develop the Climate Services for Agriculture (CSA) platform and related Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool (DR SAT).

Pilot regions are located in the following areas:

  • Queensland Dry Tropics – including the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region. Key centres include Townsville, Charters Towers and Bowen.
  • Condamine and the Northern Tablelands – Condamine catchment and Northern Tablelands NRM regions. Key centres include Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Armidale and Glen Innes.
  • Victorian Mallee and south-east South Australia – including the Sunraysia and Wimmera / Mallee regions of Victoria and Riverland and Mallee regions of South Australia.  Key centres include Mildura, Swan Hill, Renmark, Berri, Ouyen and Horsham.
  • South-west Western Australia Sheep-Wheat Belt – including the Wheatbelt NRM region and surrounding areas. Key centres include Northam and Narrogin.

Indicative boundaries are shown on the map below:

Further information on how to participate is provided in the Questions and Answers (below) or by contacting DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au.

Pilots - Questions and Answers

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Where are the pilot regions?

If you’re working in agriculture in or around the following areas and are interested in participating in the development of the DR SAT or CSA, we’d love to hear from you:

  • Queensland Dry Tropics – including the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region. Key centres include Townsville, Charters Towers and Bowen.
  • Condamine and the Northern Tablelands – Condamine catchment and Northern Tablelands NRM regions. Key centres include Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Armidale and Glen Innes.
  • Victorian Mallee and south-east South Australia – including the Sunraysia and Wimmera / Mallee regions of Victoria and Riverland and Mallee regions of South Australia.  Key centres include Mildura, Swan Hill, Renmark, Berri, Ouyen and Horsham.
     
  • South-west Western Australia Sheep-Wheat Belt – including the Wheatbelt NRM region and surrounding areas. Key centres include Northam and Narrogin.

Am I eligible to participate?

We’re looking for people working in agriculture in each pilot region to participate in user-engagement activities up until June 2022.

This includes farmers, farm advisers and natural resource managers, as well as businesses servicing agriculture, such as agricultural suppliers and people working in business financing and banking.

Different options will be available for participation, depending on your time, interest, and availability – however, access to a computer with internet connection will be needed. 

Once you’ve registered your interest by emailing DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au, we’ll be in touch with further details.

How can I get involved?

For more information or to express your interest in participating, please email DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au.

What is involved?

The pilots will enable people working in agriculture to be involved in the design of the DR SAT and the CSA digital platform and information products. 

As a participant, you may be invited to attend regular workshops or participate in interviews with product developers from July 2021 to June 2022. Depending on your time, interest, and availability, you could be involved in:

  • helping to develop climate information products, to assist farm businesses understand future climate and how that could impact the key commodities in their region
  • providing input into the design, function and content of the new CSA digital platform
  • defining information needs and designing the look and feel of the DR SAT

Key activities are likely to include:

  • online and/or face-to-face group workshops
  • one-on-one interviews
  • website testing, surveys, and other online activities

How much time will I need to commit?

This will depend on the type of activity you are involved in, your interests and availability.

For the CSA platform and climate information work, we ask that you are prepared to commit around 3 - 5  hours per month, from March 2021 up until June 2022.

For the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool, we will work around your needs and availability.  There may be an opportunity to join a workshop with other participants.  

Where will activities be held?

Activities could occur online, in-person or over the phone.

Once you’ve registered your interest, we will be in touch to provide further details and discuss options for participation. 

What is the process from here?

Initial engagement in the pilot regions has started – but there’s still time to get involved. Once you’ve registered your interest, we will be in touch to provide further details.

Can I participate if I live outside of a pilot region?

You can still get involved, even if you live outside of a pilot region. The prototype CSA digital platform will be available nationally from 1 July 2021 and will include regional scale climate projections for all of Australia.  You can provide feedback within the prototype or by emailing DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au.

Engagement for some aspects of the DR SAT may be available outside of pilot regions. You can explore the prototype and provide feedback or register your interest to participate in the engagement by completing this survey.

Funding information

The table below details the payment information for the Climate Services for Agriculture program, as required under the Future Drought Fund Act 2019.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

To develop an interactive digital platform bringing together a variety of climate information specifically for farmers and the agricultural sector, in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total amount payable Date of first payment Amount of first payment Total amount paid Total amount still to be paid
(by June 2022)
$6,128,028 2 February 2021 $612,802.80 $1,225,605.60 $4,289,619.60

Bureau of Meteorology

To develop an interactive digital platform bringing together a variety of climate information specifically for farmers and the agricultural sector, in conjunction with CSIRO.

Total amount payable Date of first payment Amount of first payment Total amount paid Total amount still to be paid
(by June 2022)
$3,871,673 2 February 2021 $387,167.40 $774,334.80 $2,710,170.80

Factsheet

Find out more about the program with the Future Drought Fund Climate Services for Agriculture Program factsheet.

Download

Document Pages File size
Future Drought Fund: Making climate information more accessible and useful for farmers PDF  2 322 KB
Future Drought Fund: Making climate information more accessible and useful for farmers DOCX  2 854 KB

If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Last reviewed: 1 July 2021
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