The economic value of conditioning harvest start date on long-lead seasonal climate forecasts

Osborne, J.A., Stoeckl, N.E., Everingham, Y.L., Inman-Bamber, N.G., and Welters, R. (2011) The economic value of conditioning harvest start date on long-lead seasonal climate forecasts. In: Proceedings of the 2011 Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, pp. 1-10. From: 2011 Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 4-6 May 2011, Mackay, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Seasonal climate forecasts can now predict climate with significant skill and lead times in the major cane growing regions of Australia. However, despite these meteorological advancements relatively little research has examined the 'on-the-ground economic impact of these forecasts. This lack of quantitative knowledge creates an atmosphere of uncertainty about whether cane growers should alter their behaviour in response to the forecast. To address this issue, we developed an agronomic-economic model of the average cane farm the Herbert River District to determine the economic value of scheduling the annual harvest start date based on seasonal climate forecasts. Results indicate that the value of seasonal forecasts when used in this manner is modest with respect to the farmer's annual profits. The central limiting factor appears to be the reasonably high degree of climatic variability that can still occur within each climate phase predicted by the forecast.The forecast value is also dependent on soil type and therefore likely to be highly variable spatially. This highlights the need to better understand how the forecast would be communicated and changes implemented within the context of the harvest scheduling framework and other farm management decisions.

Item ID: 20783
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: economic impact, climate forecast, agronomic-economic model, Herbert
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ISSN: 0726-0822
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 23:35
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070104 Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8206 Harvesting and Packing of Plant Products > 820603 Sugar Cane (Cut for Crushing) @ 100%
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