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ARTICLES >> Environment Articles

Sourcing and utilising climate information for your business

Posted by Bestprac on Jun 06 2013

By Pene Keynes  

Climate is one area that businesses are looking for more information on when making 'on the ground decisions.' Melissa Rebbeck and Susan Carn at the Hawker 'Looking Beyond the Horizon' forum were successful in providing some useful facts and hints on this topic.

Melissa Rebbeck, Senior Researcher in Climate Applications at SARDI, gave an overview of the changing climate and made suggestions on how to manage livestock carbon emissions.

While pastures are generally resilient, in the future, a 20% reduction in rainfall would equate to a 15% reduction in pasture growth so businesses need to be proactive. Melissa said they should “employ flexible win:win solutions, to not only reduce carbon but also improve gross margins and business sustainability.”

Ideas raised included increasing conception rates and reducing the time it takes to get animals to market, through better pasture and feed utilisation, dietary and rumen management and genetic improvements, to achieve this win: win scenario.

Melissa said, “although mitigation incentives are low, by continuing to manage variability through a combination of techniques, businesses will become more robust and flexible adapting to climate change.” See Melissa's presentation here.

Wool producer, Susan Carn from Quorn, and regular Bestprac eNews ‘Weather Watch’ contributor, provided an ‘on the ground’ perspective of climate and explained how her business manages climate variability proactively.

Susan demonstrated the way she uses her understanding of climate drivers and a range of seasonal outlook models, in her business. These help guide ‘which way to lean, not which way to jump’, when making decisions in regards to things like selling sheep, setting stocking rates, and sowing crops.

She stressed the importance of checking the accuracy of climate models and using these in combination with other considerations, such as commodity prices, finances, and subsoil moisture.

She gave participants the list of links and models she commonly uses, that you can see here.See Susan's PowerPoint presentation here.

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Last changed: Jun 26 2013

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