Betting on Rain - Managing seasonal risk

Ron Hacker, ‘Betting on Rain’ author and NSW DPI Pastures and Rangelands research leader, based at Trangie.
Ron Hacker, ‘Betting on Rain’ author and NSW DPI Pastures and Rangelands research leader, based at Trangie.

A new guide designed to help farmers in western NSW manage seasonal risks and develop a better understanding of weather patterns is now available.

Betting on rain: managing seasonal risk in western NSW is a helpful, practical resource for graziers and mixed farmers in some of the driest parts of the State.

This guide will help producers understand climate indicators like the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), and therefore assist them in making difficult decisions relating to grazing capacities.

In addition to information about the SOI and other indicators, it will help graziers define dates of important trigger points for feed availability, based on pasture growth curves for 27 locations throughout western NSW.

The book is the result of three years work by a team of Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researchers in collaboration with the Queensland Centre for Climate Applications.

A network of 300 graziers across western NSW also participated by receiving project newsletters and providing feedback on their assessment of the most appropriate growth patterns for their location.

Researchers found the SOI Phase System is the best seasonal risk assessment system for western NSW.

The risk assessments it provides are actually better for pasture growth than for rainfall – a distinct advantage for pastoralists.

The guide will be relevant and helpful to almost 9000 Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) ratepayers in the Western Division and adjacent RLPBs in the Central Division.

The publication is free to producers in this part of the State.

Contact your local DPI office, or DPI’s Trangie Agricultural Research Centre, 02 6880 8000, to obtain a copy of Betting on Rain.