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We run regular webinars on topics relevant to primary producers and others working in agriculture.
The range of topics that are discussed include seasonal risk and climate change projections and impacts, adaptation opportunities and innovative farming practices and soil moisture monitoring.
Our webinars are free for anybody to view.
What is a webinar?
A webinar is simply a seminar that is held online. They allow you to view the guest speaker's presentation over the internet and to ask questions, make comments and share information with other participants. They are usually recorded and the recording can be shared and viewed at any time.
Webinars are a free service (although phone charges may apply if you are joining via phone). They are available to anyone interested in accessing information about seasonal risk, climate change impacts and adaptation.
Most of our webinars are recorded so if you can't join us on the day you can listen in at a time that best suits you.
What you need to join a climate webinar
- Access to a computer, laptop or mobile device (e.g. a Smartphone or tablet).
- A stable internet connection (with a minimum speed of 56 kbps for best viewing).
- Audio connection (via computer headset or phone).
How to participate in a webinar
There are 3 easy steps to participate:
- Register for the webinars that interest you before the RSVP date/s.
- Once registered, an email confirming your selected webinar/s will be sent to you.
- One or two working days prior to each webinar you will receive an email with a unique URL link and step by step instructions on how to log in. This email also provides some handy information for first time webinar users.
We are currently planning a variety of webinars for 2019 so watch this space! Most of our webinars are recorded so if you can't join us on the day you can listen later.
You can view previous webinars using the links and passwords below. Please note that some webinars may not play in some browsers so you may need to try a range of different ones.
If there is a previous webinar you would like to view but the link is not provided below, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview of The Forecasts4Profit website and Local Climate Tool
Date: 12pm Friday 25 October 2019
Outline: The Forecasts4Profit website and Local Climate Tool have been produced as part of the GRDC 'Using Seasonal Forecasts' extension project, a collaboration between the GRDC, Agriculture Victoria, SARDI, Regional Connections and Federation University.
The Forecasts4Profit web resource provides a single location to find:
- the latest versions of The Break seasonal updates
- farmer case studies sharing how they are using seasonal forecast information
- handy links, tools and forecast model sites accessed by The Break team
- The Very Fast Break flashbacks highlights - an entertaining way to test your climate knowledge.
The Local Climate Tool allows you to assess the effect of El Niño, La Niña and positive and negative IOD, on rainfall in your area.
You can access the Forecasts4Profit website and the Local Climate Tool at forecasts4profit.com.au.
Presenters: Agriculture Victoria Seasonal Risk Agronomist, Dale Grey, and SARDI Principal Scientist Climate Applications, Peter Hayman.
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes
IPCC report on climate change and land and the implications for Australian agriculture
Date: 12pm Tuesday 8 October 2019
Outline: Climate change is rapidly ramping up existing threats to global land resources, reducing the ability to feed people around the world. In Australia, rivers are drying up, the natural resource base is under pressure and climate-related pressures are increasingly impacting on the conservation estate.
Agriculture is under pressure too as heatwaves become increasingly frequent and intense, farm animals are increasingly stressed and less productive, crops yields are shrinking and crops are failing more regularly whilst rural communities are suffering.
At the same time, the land sector is currently making climate change worse, even as it can offer some of the solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This is because the global food system produces about 29 per cent of the world’s total GHG emissions.
Australian numbers are similar. But at the same time the land absorbs about 22 per cent of global GHG emissions via natural processes. With the right management, we can reduce the land sector’s GHG emissions and increase the land’s carbon sinks. If left unchecked, the current situation threatens to increase global warming, and leave the world hungry and with an increasingly degraded natural resource base.
One of the key findings of the report is that there is no way we can limit global warming in line with the Paris Climate Agreement without actively managing our land sector GHG emissions. But even if we do everything right, the land sector alone cannot solve climate change. Reducing fossil fuel emissions remains absolutely vital.
Presenter: Prof Mark Howden is Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University, an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a member of the ACT Climate Change Council and a member of the Australian National Climate Science Advisory Committee.
He was on the US Federal Advisory Committee for the 3rd National Climate Assessment and contributes to several major national and international science and policy advisory bodies.
Mark has worked on climate variability, climate change, innovation and adoption issues for over 30 years in partnership with many industry, community and policy groups via both research and science-policy roles. Issues he has addressed include agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems.
He helped develop both the national and international greenhouse gas inventories that are a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement and has assessed sustainable ways to reduce emissions. He has been a major contributor to the IPCC since 1991, sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Event password: Ipcc2019
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes (including questions)
Livestock emissions and carbon neutrality – best courses of actions for emissions reductions
Date: 12pm Friday 18 October 2019
Outline: An overview of livestock emissions and carbon neutrality – what are the best courses of actions for emissions reductions, how far off are we from reaching neutrality?
Presenter: Richard Eckard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (www.piccc.org.au), a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
His research focuses on strategies for reducing enteric methane and nitrous oxide from intensive grazing systems, and whole farm systems modelling of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in livestock production.
Richard holds a number of national and international science leadership roles, being a keynote speaker at a number of industry and international science conferences over the past few years.
He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture.
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes (including questions)
Finding Victorian groundwater data online
Date: 15 April 2019
Outline: In this webinar, Dr. Peter Dalhaus, runs participants through The Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) portal, launched in 2012, seamlessly providing access to groundwater data from disparate sources that are normally invisible to the public.
The portal has quickly been adopted as the place to find a variety of data and information on groundwater in Victoria. The portal was developed by the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University Australia and has three main functions: an eLibrary of resources, a spatial map interface and a data download catalogue.
The easy-to-use portal can provide information on groundwater bores, groundwater levels, groundwater quality, aquifers and so on. You can use it to predict groundwater depth and quality before drilling a bore.
The research is an ongoing experiment in data democracy, aimed at providing timely and equitable access to all the data required to answer the frequently asked questions for both the private sector and public sector decision makers. It helps provide the evidential basis for community debates around the groundwater impacts of resource developments, urbanisation and changing climates.
Presenter: Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus is Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University Australia, based at Ballarat. His career spans over 40 years in engineering geology, environmental geology and hydrogeology in private and public sectors.
Peter has expert knowledge of the groundwater setting of southwest Victoria and is an adviser to water and catchment management authorities. Peter's current research focuses on making soil and groundwater data, information and knowledge globally and publicly available.
Duration: Approximately 35 minutes
Heat stress and milk production: A literature review and an analysis of eastern Australian data
Date: 20 January 2019
Outline: In this webinar, Dr. Rachelle Meyer, discusses two projects she has been involved in on milk production and heat stress.
The first is a bibliographic network analysis and a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed papers focusing on milk production and heat stress.
The systematic review addresses sources of variation in the impact of heat stress on milk production including differences in methodologies and treatments investigated. Next steps for research in this area are also highlighted.
Following that, is an analysis of a database of milk tanker pickups paired with BOM weather station data from the early 1990s to 2017 and from farms in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria will be presented.
The primary focus is the differences in the response to heat stress between states and seasons, as well as the THI measures that are best correlated with milk production.
Presenter: Rachelle Meyer's research interests include agricultural adaptation and mitigation. She completed her PhD in 2017. Her thesis explored the climate change adaptation and mitigation potential of soil carbon in grazing systems of western Victoria using a whole-farm system model.
Currently she is working on the impacts of extreme events and associated risk management strategies for the dairy and red meat industries.
Duration: 49 minutes
Prepare for the unexpected: A framework for understanding future climate extremes
Date: Thursday 6 September 2018
Outline: It is widely assumed that climate change will lead to increases in most types of extreme weather: from storms and floods through to droughts, heat waves and fire.
Although this may hold on average across most of the globe, recent science is telling us that the story is likely to be much more nuanced for any particular location and problem set. Using extreme rainfall and runoff as a case study, this presentation will summarise a 10 year journey in building the evidence base for understanding what climate change might mean for Australian floods.
The picture that emerges is not only that the implication of climate change on floods is more complex than often has been appreciated, but also that each flood management system is different, and will require new and tailored approaches for understanding system risk.
The implications of this research extend much more broadly than floods, with relevance across a broad range of domains ranging from urban water supply, irrigated agriculture, renewable energy, insurance and finance.
Presenter: Presenter Seth Westra, is Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
He is a chartered engineer with research and consulting experience across both academia and industry. Seth has contributed to the fields of hydrology, water resource assessments and climate risk, and has published over 80 journal and conference papers on these topics.
Event password: Extreme18
Renewables and irrigation – what works and when? On and off grid systems
Date: 31 August 2018
Outline: The webinar covered use of renewable energy in irrigation, prior research, energy policy incentives, on and off-grid feasibility and an excellent overview of current case study results.
This webinar covered how and when incorporating renewables and storage stack up. AgEcon presenters, Janine Powell and Jon Welsh commenced renewables and irrigation feasibility in 2014 during the Department of Agricultures 'Carbon Farming Futures' program and have ongoing cotton and sugar research projects in this area.
Presenters: Agricultural research economists, Janine Powell and Jon Welsh (both with AgEcon)
Recording password: Irrigren18
Changes in Australia's frost risk – synoptics and damage detection
Date: 8 May 2018
Outline: The webinar examines the changing nature of Australian frost risk through analyses of changing trends and synoptic circulation, as well as improved approaches for mapping this risk. It examines new approaches for the rapid detection of frost damage and includes discussion around agronomic management options.
- Steven Crimp, Research Fellow and climate applications scientist with the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.
- Kirsten Barlow, Senior Research Scientist and farming systems modeller with Agriculture Victoria Research.
- Mick Faulkner, Principal Consultant for Agrilink Agricultural Consultants, based in South Australia. Mick has extensive experience in frost identification and management.
Duration: Approx. 70 mins
Kings Vista dairy farm journey into renewables
Date: 21 February 2018
Presenter: Lindsay Anderson has dairy farmed at Athlone since 1989; prior to that he worked for the State Electricity Commission of Victoria as a design and construction engineer for new and existing power stations.
Outline: In 2010 the first 5kw solar grid connected PV system was installed at Lindsay's property. This was followed by 3 more plus a 10kw, soon to be 15kw, off grid system. In 2011 Lindsay commissioned an Automatic Milking System that required 3 phase power but Lindsay's grid supply was single phase SWER.
This change in milking system saw new challenges which has evolved into the renewable energy system he is utilizing today.
During this webinar, Lindsay shared his wealth of both knowledge and experience with:
- research that he's done on energy options
- grid supply and quality issues
- his decision making processes
- choices made and changes implemented
- what he'd like to do next
Lindsay also answered some of those of those curly questions around getting the best out of solar energy systems in dairies.
Duration: Approx. 60 mins
Note: Please note that the slide presentation is missing for the first two minutes.
Managing groundwater under climate change
Date: 15 February 2018
Presenter: Webinar presenter, Dr. Glen Walker, has conducted groundwater and salinity research for over 30 years with CSIRO in Adelaide. He also led the groundwater component of the Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields project. Since 2014, Glen has been consulting with his company, Grounded in Water.
Outline: The climate outlook for south-eastern Australia is for drier winter-spring seasons and more prolonged droughts. The effects of lower rainfall is exacerbated in hydrological processes, including groundwater so that a 10% reduction in rainfall might lead to a 30% reduction in groundwater recharge. However, the limit to groundwater extraction in response to this needs to be considered in the local context of a groundwater system.
To focus efforts for managing groundwater impacts, groundwater systems should be screened on the basis of vulnerability. Any management needs to incorporate the range of different predictions and adaptive approaches are critical.
For aquifers in which climate change leads to depletion, there are four approaches to management: decrease extraction, enhance recharge, mitigate impacts and find alternative sources of water. Perth is a city already experiencing severe impacts of climate change and use a combination of all of these at a significant cost.
As climate change may occur in south-eastern Australia through increasingly severe droughts, good groundwater management will be critical. Regional water authorities have been largely responsible for this and should already be making preparations.
Duration: Approx. 45 mins
Two birds with one stone: Utilising dead pines for heat energy production at Meredith Dairy
Date: 8 November 2017
Presenters: Sandy Cameron, Meredith Dairy and Shaun Quayle, DragonNRG
Outline: Meredith Dairy is an on-farm enterprise, milking sheep and goats year-round to make specialty cheeses and yoghurts. Their products are sold throughout Australia and exported around the world. The owners, Sandy and Julie Cameron have a strong focus on sustainability and have an explicit aim to pass on to the next generation a business that is "economically viable, environmentally sustainable and part of a vibrant rural community."
The latest project in their quest to shrink their environmental footprint was the installation of a 240kW biomass boiler to replace a bank of aging LPG boilers delivering hot water to factory processes. This new boiler has drastically reduced the carbon footprint and energy costs associated with the enterprise and has also provided a surprising extra benefit. Initially the boiler was fueled by chipped wood waste from Pyrenees Timber but now burns woodchips processed from senescent pines on the property.
Dragon NRG engages in direct action in the abatement of global greenhouse gas emissions by installing specialised equipment for heat energy production from biomass.
Sandy and Shaun will talk about the journey, including the challenges and successes to installing and operating the "Dragon" at Meredith Dairy.
Duration: Approx. 45 mins including questions.
Climate trends account for stalled wheat yields in Australia since 1990
Date: 29 August 2017
Presenter: Zvi Hochman, Senior Principal Research Scientist and a Research Team Leader, Integrated Agricultural Systems, with CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Outline: In contrast to the first 90 years of the 20th century (from 1900 to 1990) when Australia's wheat yields more than tripled, wheat yields had not increased between 1990 and 2015. Our researchers asked why...
We found that the yield potential of rainfed wheat declined by 27% over the past 26 years. In 1990 yield potential was 4.4 tonnes per hectare but it declined to 3.2 t/ha by 2015.
We showed that this decline is a result of increasing temperatures and declining rainfall in the wheat zone during the wheat crops' growing season.
The loss of yield potential is not evenly distributed. While some wheat growing areas have not suffered any decline, others have declined by up to 100 kg/ha/year.
Despite the 27% decline, farmers' actual yields remained steady because they are effectively closing the yield gap. In 1990 they were achieving 38% of potential yields and this increased to 55% by 2015.
Farmers are successfully using technology to keep pace with an increasingly challenging climate. They are making the most of advances in farming technology and adapting them to their needs. They are growing improved wheat varieties and improving their farming practices. They have reduced tillage, they are adopting integrated weed management and applying fertiliser more strategically
Duration: Approx. 40 mins plus question time.
Mitigating methane emissions from dairy cows
Date: 30 May 2017
Presenter: Dr Peter Moate, Senior Research Scientist in Dairy Nutrition, at Agriculture Victoria's Ellinbank Research Centre.
Methane is a gas that is burped out by Dairy cows. Although it is colourless, odourless and lighter than air, it is vitally important that methane emissions from cattle be reduced.
In this webinar, Dr Peter Moate will explain why methane is so important , what research has been conducted by the department, the successes achieved in measuring methane emissions from cows, and the use of dietary, management and breeding strategies to reduce methane emissions from Australian dairy.
Dr. Moate leads the Australian component of an international research project concerned with investigating nutritional abatement of enteric methane emissions from dairy cows. Peter has published more than 100 papers in refereed scientific journals.
Duration: Approx. 45 mins including question time.
Heat load tools for industry webinar
Date: 28 March 2017
Presenter: Andrew Wiebe, Atmospheric Scientist, Katestone.
Weather and climate effects us all, however it does so in different ways; while rain is good for some it may be detrimental for others.
When weather and climate has an impact on your business or industry you need tools to analyse, predict and manage the risk associated with it.
Environmental consultancy company, Katestone, takes long term weather data and generic weather forecasts and turns them in to industry specific tools. These tools enable the effective management of many aspects of the environment from dust and odour impacts to heat stress in livestock and humans.
One of Katestone's flagship tools is the Dairy Forecast Service funded by Dairy Australia. It helps Australian Dairy operators to proactively manage heat load in their herd by providing an early warning system of imminent weather and heat load predictions for any Dairy right across Australia.
Presenter, Andrew Wiebe, is an atmospheric scientist with Katestone. Andrew's core activities are to integrate meteorology and climate into business specific decision support systems, management tools.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Duration: Approx. 30 mins including question time.
The NRM spatial hub: A new online tool for farm mapping, planning and monitoring
Date: 9 February 2017
Presenter: Phil Tickle
The NRM Spatial Hub is a new web tool that gives farm managers the ability to map their properties in a secure environment, access government data, analyse land resources, create development plans, and monitor land condition.
In just a few minutes a farm manager can access and analyse the latest time-series ground cover data at paddock scales and also compare their property with the neighbours over the last 30 years.
Landholders and industry bodies alike are hailing the system for its potential to improve on-farm investment decisions and long term sustainable production.
Users have also identified; significant labour savings of up to a month a year, better utilisation of pastures and, with appropriate infrastructure investment, the potential to significantly increase long-term safe carrying capacity and profitability.
This webinar will provide an overview of current capabilities and discuss plans for future development aimed at southern grazing and mixed farming systems.
The presenters will also discuss how they plan to facilitate collaboration to make things easier on-farm and for third-party service providers. They will also be seeking feedback on the utility of the tools and plans over the next 12 months.
Duration: Approx. 30 mins plus question time.
Modelling the impacts of climate change on soil carbon in pastures of western Victoria
Date: 24 January 2017
Presenter: PhD candidate, Rachelle Meyer (University of Melbourne)
Increasing soil carbon stocks is an often mentioned agricultural mitigation option. However, increasing carbon stocks in Australian soils is difficult given the highly variable climate, and the feasibility of increasing soil carbon stocks as the climate changes is uncertain.
During this presentation the results of a modelling study addressing the potential impacts of climate change on carbon stocks in pastures of western Victoria are discussed.
Implications for sustainable stocking densities and the various sources of uncertainty in the response including climate and soil modelling uncertainty are addressed.
Duration: Approx. 30 mins plus question time.
Recording links to these earlier webinars are available on request by emailing email@example.com.