There’s a new iTunes app called CliMate that can help Australian farmers make better decisions about their farming operations based on recent weather and likely climate probabilities.
The free app allows farmers to quickly interrogate the last 60 years of daily rainfall, temperature and radiation data for their location.
Seasonal forecasts are provided based on current ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) conditions. It also calculates heat sums, and estimates soil water and soul nitrate accumulation.
The app was developed by the national Managing Climate Variability Program to help farmers make sense of past climate statistics and forecasts for their own location.
Peter Holding, a farmer in south east NSW with winter crops and wool lambs, is already a fan of the app.
“I find it very good for clarifying my vision of what I think is happening,” he says.
“As I get closer to sowing I will definitely be running the how wet/nitrogen section to see if my estimates compare with the app and maybe refine my final decisions.
“The ability to try different scenarios very quickly and simply is a great way of improving my decision-making and understanding of the climate in our area.”
Are there other industries that would benefit from knowing recent weather patterns and climate probabilities? Anyone who works outside is sure to find this information useful.