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Formative evaluation to benchmark and improve climate-based decision support for graziers in Western Queelsland

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Keogh, D.U., Bell, K. L., Park, J.N. and Cobon, D.H. (2004) Formative evaluation to benchmark and improve climate-based decision support for graziers in Western Queelsland. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 44 (3). pp. 233-246.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EA01204

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/


Researchers developing climate-based forecasts, workshops, software tools and information to aid grazier decisions undertook an evaluation study to enhance planning and benchmark impact. One hundred graziers in Western Queensland were randomly selected from 7 shires and surveyed by mail and telephone (43 respondents) to explore levels of knowledge and use of climate information, practices and information needs. We found 36% of respondents apply the Southern Oscillation Index to property decisions but 92% were unaware El Niño Southern Oscillation’s predictive signal in the region is greater for pasture growth than rainfall, suggesting they may not recognise the potential of pasture growth forecasts. Almost 75% of graziers consider they are conservative or risk averse in their attitude to managing their enterprise. Mail respondents (n= 20) if given a 68%, on average, probability of exceeding median rainfall forecast may change a decision; almost two-thirds vary stocking rate based on forage available, last year’s pasture growth or the Southern Oscillation Index; the balance maintain a constant stocking rate strategy; 90% have access to a computer; 75% to the internet and 95% have a fax. This paper presents findings of the study and draws comparisons with a similar study of 174 irrigators in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin (Aust. J. Exp. Ag. 44, 247-257). New insights and information gained are helping the team better understand client needs and plan, design and extend tools and information tailored to grazier knowledge, practice, information needs and preferences. Results have also provided a benchmark against which to measure project impact and have influenced the team to make important changes to their project planning, activities and methods for transferring technology tailored to grazier preferences.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Benchmarking; client focus; continuous improvement; extension planning; seasonal climate forecasts.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Research. Experimentation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Agricultural extension work
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:24 Dec 2007
Last Modified:06 Apr 2023 05:01

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