Update: USQ and DCAP

Here’s the latest on the University’s work with the Queensland Government's Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP).
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USQ has two projects that are part of the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaption Program (DCAP) that aims to improve drought preparedness and resilience for Queensland producers.

You can subscribe to the Drought and Climate Adaptation newsletter here.

Insuring the future of agriculture

Most farmers remain uninsured against the financial impact of weather events like floods and drought. However, given the devastation we’ve seen caused by natural disasters, there is a need for a crop insurance product with affordable insurance premiums and a prompt pay-out.

DCAP’s crop insurance project is developing parametric solutions that can fill this need. Parametric solutions covers the probability of a predefined event happening instead of actual loss incurred.

'Ground truthing' the Australian Drought Monitor

The Northern Australia Climate Program website hosts the Australian and Queensland Combined Drought Indicator (CDI) maps for the Drought Monitor service. These maps can help producers and policy makers to plan and make decisions based on spatial information on the current status of drought.

The CDI maps on the Drought Monitor rely on field observations from extension officers, Climate Mates officers and local experts to provide feedback to ‘ground truth’ observational data and corresponding indices through a monthly Drought Condition & Impact Report survey. If you would like to get involved in the ‘ground truthing’ process email christa.pudmenzky@usq.edu.au.

Helping scientists to improve forecast usability

Our Northern Australia Climate Program (NACP) representatives gave a presentation to scientists on how to make their data easier to use. At the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) meeting, Matthew Wheeler from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and NACP, spoke of the importance of knowing how producers will use his information, which gives more meaning to his research and improves his presentations at producer workshops

Climate Mates’ Anne Marie Huey and Jardine Macdonald spoke of the importance of seasonal forecasts for decision making and planning, and the most effective ways to get science across to producers, including using attractive visual tools such as the Climate Dogs animation series and the CliMate App.

Accurate forecast of the 2019/2020 northern rainfall onset

The first Northern Rainfall Onset (NRO) forecast is based on BoM’s latest seasonal data and was produced by the Northern Australia Climate Program (NACP) in August 2019. The NRO is the date at which a location has received at least 50 mm of rainfall since 1 September and can be used as a rough guide for when significant pasture will start to occur after the dry season.

The 2019 prediction, based on an average of 99 separate forecasts, was incredibly accurate and consistent with a later-than-usual start of the wet season. NACP scientists are planning on publishing these results in a peer-reviewed journal. They are working towards releasing new forecast products in time for next year’s wet season to provide predictions of the likelihood of short monsoon rainfall bursts over northern Australia from up to a month’s lead-time. Keep an eye out for the next NRO on 25 June 2020 to help with your decision making.

Learn more at the DAF website.

Cracked river bed
Although recent rainfall has increased the communities hopes for the future, the country is still in drought.