Needs for applied climate education in agriculture

George, David A., Birch, Colin J., Clewett, Jeffrey F., Wright, Anthony, Allen, Wendy, & Keogh, Diane U. (2007) Needs for applied climate education in agriculture. Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 47(1), pp. 1-12.

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This paper reports on a purposive survey study aimed at identifying needs for the development, delivery and evaluation of applied climate education for targeted groups, so as to improve knowledge and skills to better manage the variable climate. The survey sample consisted of 80 producers and other industry stakeholders in Australia (including representatives from consulting and agricultural extension, and agricultural education sectors), with a 58% response rate to the survey. The survey included an assessment of (i) knowledge levels of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and sea surface temperature’s (SST’s), (ii) skill/ability in interpreting weather/climate parameters. Results showed that despite many of the respondents having more than twenty years experience in their industry, the only formal climate education or training undertaken by most was a one-day workshop. While over 80% of the applied climate skills listed in the survey were regarded by respondents as essential or important, only 42% of educators, 30% of consultants and 28% of producers rated themselves as competent in applying such skills. Essential skills are deemed as those that would enable respondents or their clients to be better prepared for the next extended wet or dry meteorological event, and improved capability in identifying and capitalising on key decision points from climate information and a seasonal climate outlook. The complex issue of forecast accuracy is a confounding obstacle for many to apply climate information and forecasts in management. Addressing this problem by describing forecast ‘limitations and skill’ can help to overcome this problem. The survey also highlighted specific climatic tactical and strategic information collated from grazing, cropping, and agribusiness enterprises and shows the value of such information from a users perspective.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 5966
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: climate applications and education, applied climate needs, Southern Oscillation
DOI: 10.1071/EA05244
ISSN: 0816-1089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified (040199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 CSIRO Publishing
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 09 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:37

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