Queensland programme aims to help farmers cope with drought

The Queensland government is investing millions of dollars to help farmers in the Australian state better manage drought and climate events with new tools, including more reliable forecasting, insurance products and customised climate information.
A Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP) has been set up which brings together climate scientists, government and non-government agencies, producers and industry leaders to work together on research projects and partnerships.
Visiting the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Queensland minister for agricultural industry development Mark Furner said the $21 million ($15.3 million) DCAP aims to assist the grazing, cropping and horticulture industries.
“USQ is delivering two DCAP projects through the Queensland Drought Mitigation Centre to better understand droughts and climate variability,” he said.
“The Northern Australia Climate Program is an $8 million ($5.8 million) partnership between the Queensland Government, USQ and Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company to help the grazing industry better manage drought and climate risks.
“The project is improving reliability of multi-week, seasonal and multi-year forecasts, and establishing a network of ‘climate mates’ to support the delivery of customised climate information and products into regional networks to help with business decision-making.
Furner said the team is working with farmers to discuss production costs if there’s insufficient rainfall or soil moisture during the fallow season.
He added: “Another local DCAP project is a partnership between the Queensland government and the Bureau of Meteorology looking at improved forecasts for the vegetable industry.
“Improving multi-week and seasonal forecasts and extreme weather events such as storms and heat waves will help improve farm, business and labour management decisions and these are being trialled in the Lockyer Valley and Granite Belt regions.
“DCAP’s projects will assist our primary producers and the agri-business sector in the Darling Downs and right across Queensland to manage the negative impacts of severe climate events and take better advantage of good seasons when they occur.”

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