Tools and resources
This page contains information and links to various tools and resources that dairy farmers may find useful.
Dairy research factsheets
Farm system economics
The following information and tools are available to:
- improve decision making by farmers in regard to seasonal conditions
- assist farmers to identify the risks posed by climate change to their farming business
- develop strategies to manage the impacts of climate change
- reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Short-term weather forecasts
Much of what farmers do both on a day-to-day and seasonal basis is influenced by the weather. Improved understanding of the short-term (days or weeks) weather outlook can assist with business decisions and plan activities, such as:
- planning grazing rotations or when to hold stock off particular paddocks
- when to apply fertilisers to obtain optimum benefit
- when to spray paddocks
- when to cut hay or silage.
While many sites exist, perhaps the most comprehensive, reliable and useful is the Bureau of Meteorology. Some useful links are:
- Satellite images, synoptic charts and rainfall forecasts
- BOM Forecast Explorer – 7 day outlook
- 4 day forecast summary for major towns on a regional basis
- 4 day synoptic forecast
Medium to longer-term weather outlooks
These outlooks range from weeks up to months ahead and can be useful for planning activities such as pasture and cropping rotations, feed budgeting, forward contracting of supplementary feed stocks (hay and grain).
Monthly climate update
- BoM Seasonal outlook (The official BoM forecast based upon a statistical model using long term historical rainfall and sea surface temperature data)
- BoM ENSO wrap (Based on a dynamical model using ocean and atmospheric data that will eventually replace the Seasonal Outlook using the statistical model)
It is important to understand how to use these forecasts and the times of the year that they are most reliable. To understand this further read newsletters.
The Break provides a monthly update on conditions for hay and grain industries.
The Fast Break is a monthly summary of seasonal model forecasts looking at conditions for the coming months ahead.
Dairy emissions calculator
Dairy Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategies Calculator (DGAS) is an online calculator designed to calculate greenhouse gas emissions for dairy farms and evaluate and compare strategies to reduce the farms emissions.
Emissions information and network
Carbon Toolkits in Agriculture network provides information on GHG accounting tools, and information and policy updates on carbon and emissions management.