Weather and climate risk is a very broad and complex subject. One of our biggest challenges is to recognise the complexity of climate science and at the same time, implement practical ways of adapting and managing the impact of weather and climate on a farm business.
This book explains daily and seasonal weather events; discusses the drivers of weather and climate and the longer term scientific models that measure and monitor our variable climate; and describes how to manage the risks that weather and climate present to your farm business.
How to use this information to guide on-farm decision-making is the point of this book. It covers three key principles:
1. All farming systems involve change and adaption.
2. Variability in weather or climate brings unpredictability, uncertainty, and even disasters. These introduce risk into our farming systems.
3. Managing this risk is a planning process. There are tools and techniques that can keep risk in perspective, as a motivator rather than a stressor.
Managing climate risk on your farm is based on the work of two previous publications from Tocal College; Weather and climate in farming, managing risks for profit (2000) Bayley, D and NBN Weather Book (2006) Bayley, D and Brouwer, D. Also used extensively in this book, A Farmer’s Guide to Managing Climate Risk, 8th edition 2008 by Michael Cashen, Advisory Officer Climatology. Recognition is given to the authors above for their important and significant contribution to this publication.
Section 1: The weather in your patch
Chapter 1: The creation of weather
Chapter 2: What we see—weather events and local effects
Chapter 3: Measuring and forecasting weather
Chapter 4: What drives the weather and climate
Chapter 5: The difference between climate and weather
Chapter 6: Climate variability and climate change
Section 3: Managing risk
Chapter 7: Putting risk into context
Chapter 8: Identifying and addressing risks from weather
Chapter 9: Analyse the risk and determine priorities
Section 4: Managing risks into the future—mitigation and adaptation
Chapter 10: Turning principles into practice
Chapter 11: Doing your bit: how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your farm
References and further reading
David Brouwer lectured in Agronomy at Tocal College for 15 years before developing a course in Conservation and Land Management for external students. He ran external diploma studies in agriculture and land management for almost 20 years. He has authored and co-authored over 50 books for students as well as running courses in property planning for farmers.
Michael Ison has worked as a dairy farmer for 20 years before moving to extension, education and management. He has authored four Aguides, developed and delivered the Diploma of Agriculture, managed industry projects and now manages the 2200 hectare Tocal College property running large commercial enterprises including dairy, beef, horses, sheep and free range eggs.