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 farm businesses plan for the impacts of future droughts on the Australian landscape.

A new digital platform

Farmers and the agricultural sector will be able to access trusted and relevant information through an interactive, digital platform tailored to their needs.

A prototype of the digital platform will be available nationally from June 2021 and will provide:

  • Regional-scale historical and current weather and climate information
  • Regional-scale climate projections across Australia

Tailored information in pilot regions

Additional climate risk, impact and resilience information will be developed with users in four pilot regions, through to June 2022. Information will be customised to the needs of particular agricultural commodities, enabling users to understand the potential impacts of future climate on agricultural production in their region.

Resilience information modules will also be developed through user engagement in pilot regions and support adaptation to future climatic conditions. Modules for delivery in 2021 include future water availability, agricultural productivity and natural capital, while social wellbeing, finance and market opportunities will be developed by June 2022, with further details being added across the life of the program.

Over time, it is intended that the scope of the service will be extended beyond pilot regions to provide regional-scale climate impact assessments and adaptation pathways for Australia’s important agricultural commodities, as further funding becomes available.

Design and delivery

CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology will deliver the service. They will use their specialist expertise and multi-disciplinary capability to design the platform in collaboration with end users. This will ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

The CSA will be developed in parallel with the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool (DR SAT). The CSA platform will deliver national, regional and commodity specific information on current and future climate and climate impacts. The DR SAT will enable users to combine their own data with national and regional information provided through the CSA platform to obtain a personal, customised farm level resilience assessment.

User engagement in pilot regions

Four pilot regions will be established to engage people working in agriculture in the co-design of information products and decision support tools, as part of the development of both the Climate Services for Agriculture program and the related Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool.

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 can be obtained by contacting DroughtResilience@agriculture.gov.au.

Pilots - Questions and Answers

[expand all]

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 Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool or Climate Services for Agriculture, 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 Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool and the Climate Services for Agriculture digital platform and information products. 

As a participant, you may be invited to attend regular workshops or participate in interviews with product developers from March 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 Climate Services for Agriculture digital platform
  • defining information needs and designing the look and feel of the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool

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?

We anticipate that initial engagement will commence throughout March and April 2021. 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 Climate Services for Agriculture digital platform will be available nationally by 30 June 2021 and will include regional scale climate projections for all of Australia. Additional climate and resilience information will be added to the platform as it is further developed through to June 2022.

Engagement for some aspects of the Drought Resilience Self-Assessment Tool may be available outside of pilot regions.

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
$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
$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  2 234 KB
Future Drought Fund: Making climate information more accessible and useful for farmers DOCX  2 839 KB

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

Last reviewed: 12 May 2021
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.

Skip