Table Of ContentsNext Page

Strategies to cope with climatic variability in the perennial pasture zone of south-eastern Australia

Clark, S.G. Mr; Ph: (03) 5573 0900; Fax: (03) 5571 1523;

Research organisation: Agriculture Victoria, Pastoral and Veterinary Institute, Hamilton Vic. 3300


La Trobe University; National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology; Primary Industries and Resources, SA.; Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tas.

Sponsor: LWRRDC, Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation


1. Quantify the effects of historical climate variability on pasture and animal production at key localities in the perennial pasture zone of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia; then explore the effects of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and other climate prediction tools on production across the region.

2. Development of management strategies to cope with climate variability. These strategies will consist of 'rule of thumb' guidelines for farmers based on economic analyses of simulated management options.

3. Undertake training activities with extension staff and producers in the use of GrassGro, MetAccess and Rainman and the results of this project.


The GrassGro decision support system (DSS) developed by CSIRO Plant Industry has now been validated for the high rainfall zone of south-eastern Australia. It will be used to investigate the effect of past climate variability on pasture and animal production at key localities in the perennial pasture zone (>600 mm/year) of Victoria, Tasmania and SA. At each locality a representative range of years will be used as starting points for tactical simulations covering the range of seasonal outcome forecasts. Using GrassGro's ability to identify the factors limiting pasture growth, management practices such as reduction of stocking rates and strategic applications nitrogen fertiliser will be investigated. Economic analysis will be used to develop 'rules of thumb' so management decisions are tailored to current climatic and economic conditions and the seasonal outlook forecast.

Progress: project underway

Period: starting date 1998-07; completion date 2001-06

Status: ongoing

Keywords: climate variability; seasonal climate forecasting; decision support models

Publications: None as yet

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page