Crop forecasting and monitoring to go

28 Jun, 2016 02:00 AM

THE Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) will no longer provide climate forecasting and crop monitoring activities.

AEGIC's agro-meteorological team provides modelling outputs in crop monitoring, seasonal outlooks and the integration of seasonal outlooks into crop model rankings.

The forecasting and crop monitoring activities include crop yield models, a long lead El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecasting system and a drought warning system.

AEGIC chairman Terry Enright said an independent review of its operations and future strategy last year recommended it should no longer be involved in climate forecasting and crop monitoring.

"As a result, AEGIC will cease conducting climate forecasting and crop monitoring activities on June 30," Mr Enright said.

"AEGIC recognises that these services are popular within the Australian grains industry and has been conducting discussions with supporters and potential users of these services in the hope that they can continue elsewhere."

The end of the service also means that AEGIC's agro-meteorological team members, including David Stephens, have been made redundant.

Mr Enright said AEGIC was working with these staff to help transition them into other roles with government departments or private organisations.

He said AEGIC would continue to strengthen its position in current and new areas.

AEGIC recently took over GrainGrowers' Sydney-based technical and analytical services, formerly known as the Bread Research Institute.

The centre also appointed two new board members, Alick Osborne and Ron Storey in April.

A key area of AEGIC's operations is its research and development links with grain companies in variety testing and grain quality.

Mr Enright said the centre's international market analysis would also continue to be a priority.

The centre released a report on the Ukrainian grains sector in April, with similar reports on the Russian and Kazakhstan industries due out later this year.

Mr Enright said AEGIC had continued to evolve since it was established in 2012.

"We will continue to look at opportunities in new areas for Australian grain growers to add value to their business," he said.



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