Risk Attitude, Planting Conditions and the Value of Climate Forecasts to a Dryland Wheat Grower

The value of a climate forecasting system based on phases of the Southern Oscillation was estimated for a representative dryland wheat grower in the vicinity of Goondiwindi. In particular the effects on this estimate of risk attitude and planting conditions were examined. A recursive stochastic programming approach was used to identify the grower's utility-maximising action set in the event of each of the climate patterns over the period 1894-1991 recurring in the imminent season. The approach was repeated with and without use of the forecasts. The choices examined were. at planting, nitrogen application rate and cultivar and, later in the season. choices of proceeding with or abandoning each wheat activity. The value of the forecasting system was estimated as the maximum amount the grower could afford to pay for its use without expected utility being lowered relative to its non-use.

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