AussieGrass

AussieGRASS provides a 3-month grass production forecast across Australia down to a 5-kilometre grid scale.

Seasonal Crop Shire Yield Forecasts
This forecasting tool provides estimates of cereal yields (e.g. wheat and sorghum) from whole shires.
;">•Who this tool is for [same-page links]
• e="white-space: pre;"> Questions this tool answers
•What this tool does
•Inputs
•Outputs
•Reliability
•History
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•Where to get it
•Cost
Read about our selection process for including tools on Climate Kelpie [link to page of same name].
Who this tool is for
Decision makers at regional, state and national level, such as government bodies/agencies, bulk handlers of grain, feedlot companies, fertilizer companies, and the insurance industry.
Questions this tool answers
•What is the progressive seasonal outlook for cereals production for this shire in the context of rainfall to date?
•How does the likely shire yield of cereals this year compare to other years?
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What this tool does
This forecasting tool provides probabilistic cereal crop yield predictions for whole shires by combining:
•crop simulation models – based on estimates of available soil moisture and rainfall to date; and
•climate forecasting – based on current Southern Oscillation Index [link to Queensland – weather and climate drivers page] conditions
The information can be used for:
•forward buying or selling of commodities and deciding on future contracts
•shifting of resources (bulk handling of grain) from one region to another
•policy decisions such as the evaluation of exceptional circumstances
•assessing the likely crop grade for the coming season
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Inputs
This forecasting tool uses crop simulation modelling and Southern Oscillation Index projections. No other inputs are required.
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Outputs
This tool can be used to produce monthly outlooks starting just prior to sowing.
en; overflow-y: hidden;">A monthly Seasonal Crop Outlook report is available on the Department of Primary Industries and Fishing website [link to www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fieldcrops].
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Image description: Cover of Seasonal Crop Outlook - wheat
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Reliability
This forecasting tool is limited to the projections that can be made based on the Southern Oscillation Index [link to Queensland – weather and climate drivers page]. As the climate changes, these projections will become less reliable.
The tool is not designed for use at the field or farm scale because it does not include paddock details such as soil type, starting soil water or the time of sowing.
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History
This forecasting tool was initially used on the Department of Primary Industries and Fishing website [link to www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fieldcrops] to produce the Seasonal Crop Outlook reports.
It is now also used on the National Agricultural Monitoring System website [link to http://www.nams.gov.au].
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Support available
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Where to get it
The actual forecasting tool is not available to farmers, however the monthly Seasonal Crop Outlook reports are available from:
Department of Primary Industries and Fishing [link to www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fieldcrops]
Information about this forecasting tool can be obtained from:
Andries Potgieter [email andries.potgieter@dpi.qld.gov.au], Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fishing.
Phone: 07 4688 1417
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Cost
The actual forecasting tool is not freely available but the regular outlook reports created by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fishing using this tool are free.
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Read about our selection process for including tools on Climate Kelpie.

 

Who this tool is for

Land managers, fire management agencies and policymakers across Australia.

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Questions this tool answers

  • What is the pasture growth outlook for my region/shire [at 5 km scale]?
  • What is the current total standing dry matter in my region / shire [at 5 km scale]?
  • Where in my region are areas of very low grass cover [at 5 km scale]?

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What this tool does

AussieGRASS provides a 3-month grass production forecast across Australia down to a 5-kilometre grid scale. This allows you to view the forecast for your local area.

This web-based tool:

  • is a spatial implementation of the GRASP grass production model
  • is updated monthly based on the Southern Oscillation Index phase
  • provides experimental forecasts up to 12 months ahead based on the International Research Institute's consensus forecasts of El Niño state

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Inputs

AussieGRASS uses the following data:

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Outputs

Rainfall and pasture growth maps are freely available on The Long Paddock.

Figures 1-5 below are examples:

Pasture grass fire risk in Queensland

Figure 1: Pasture grass fire risk in Queensland

 

Pasture biomass in Queensland

Figure 2: Pasture biomass in Queensland

Figure 3: Pasture biomass in Queensland relative to historical records

Figure 4: Pasture growth in Queensland

Figure 5: Rainfall in Queensland relative to historical records

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Reliability

Data is accurate down to a 5-km scale. Good correlations have been found with independent observations, but forecasts should be used with caveats at small-scale level because:

  • some errors are present in the total grazing pressure
  • a lack of rain gauges in some rangeland areas means some data points are missing

 

Geographical areas

AussieGRASS has been field checked in:

  • northern Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Northern Territory (especially tropical savannas)
  • Queensland (all main pasture regions)
  • New South Wales (rangeland areas)

 

Climate

AussieGRASS is linked to the Southern Oscillation Index phase which varies in accuracy:

  • high accuracy on the east coast
  • reducing accuracy moving west (both tropical and temperate regions)

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History

AussieGRASS has been operational for more than 15 years, and is supported by developers from the former Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence and staff in several state agencies.

Managing Climate Variability has helped sponsor its uptake in the NT and SA.

 

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Support available

Ken Day, Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, Queensland Government

Phone: 07 3896 9576

Email: ken.a.day@climatechange.qld.gov.au

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Where to get it

Web: AussieGRASS

Ken Day, Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, Queensland Government

Phone: 07 3896 9576

Email: ken.a.day@climatechange.qld.gov.au

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Cost

Rainfall and pasture growth maps are freely available on The Long Paddock.

Other outputs may be available from Ken Day, Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence, Queensland Government

Phone: 07 3896 9576

Email: ken.a.day@climatechange.qld.gov.au

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