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C. Forecasting crop yields

Assessing and Forecasting Variability in Wheat Production in Western Australia.

Dr David Stephens; ph (08) 9368 3346; fax (08) 9368 3939;

Research Organisation: Agriculture Western Australia

Sponsors: Agriculture Western Australia


1. Historical Risk analysis - implements and reports historical analysis of wheat production in Western Australia at the shire spatial scale and applies the results to assessing and managing uncertainty in wheat production.

2. Implementing an Operational Forecasting System for Wheat Production - implements and reports on an operational forecasting system for wheat yield and production for Australia based on near real-time rainfall data

3. Promotes Use of Information on Variability in Wheat Production - assists in the promotion of historical risk analysis and seasonal forecast information to other agencies and agribusiness


  • Develop and calibrate models using most recent yield and rainfall data.
  • Simulate historical sequences of wheat yield and production for wheat producing shires in Western Australia, assuming constant technology.
  • Analyse and report on historical sequences of wheat production in Western Australia given distribution of production by shire. Report to include modelling methodology, summaries of rainfall records and historical yields used, and analytical methods.
  • Analyse and report on potential for changing uncertainty in wheat production by altering distribution of production.
  • Analyse and report on trends in climate limited wheat yield and production for each wheat producing shire in Western Australia.
  • Develop a computer based application for presenting spatial and temporal variability in wheat yield, wheat area and wheat production data.
  • Implement, document and report on an operational forecasting system for wheat production in Western Australia.
  • Integrate the information into seasonal management information available to Agriculture WA.
  • Assess and report potential for forecasting wheat production given seasonal indicators and/or seasonal conditions to date.
  • Develops, adapts and presents information promoting analyses and forecast information within Agriculture WA, other WA government agencies, marketing organisations and agribusiness.


Final report submitted. A second part of the report on the success of the model at predicting other crop yields (barley, oats and Lupins) will be submitted soon. Consultancy will be upgraded to 5-year contract.

Period: starting date 1996-11; completion date June 1998.

Status: completed


Crop yield forecasting, exceptional droughts, yield trends, water use efficiency


Stephens, D.J. (1997). Assessing and Forecasting Variability in Wheat Production in Western Australia, Final Report to Agriculture Western Australia, Agriculture Western Australia, Perth, 59 pp.


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