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Abstract

Climatic variability is an integral feature of Australian rural production systems. recent developments in the meteorological sciences hold the promise of increased accuracy and extended time horizons for climatic forecasting. In the years ahead it may be possible to issue accurate seasonal forecasts on which farmers and graziers can base management decisions. While increasing an individual's information clearly gives a benefit to the individual in isolation, it is less clear that increasing the level of information available to a whole sector will result in positive benefits. The additional information lowers the uncertainty of production which may elicit a supply response which in the existence of inelastic price responses for rural commodities would lead to a lowering of sector income. However, balanced against this reduction of income is the better protection of the production resource base of soil and rangeland and reduced losses of a capital nature.

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