AEGIC axes climate forecasting

18 Jul, 2016 07:17 AM
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Agricultural meteorologist David Stephens will set up a private business after the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre wound up its crop forecasting program.
Agricultural meteorologist David Stephens will set up a private business after the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre wound up its crop forecasting program.

A CHANGE of strategic direction was the reason for the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) winding up its popular climate forecasting and crop monitoring programs according to AEGIC chairman Terry Enright.

The forecasting and crop monitoring program was finalised on June 30.

Mr Enright said a 2015 independent review into AEGIC’s operations and future strategy recommended climate forecasting and crop monitoring should no longer be conducted by AEGIC.

“The review found we should be focusing more on our market access and technical services divisions,” he said.

“We will now look at our presence on issues such as grain quality and technical services highlighting the traits of Australian grain to international end users.”

He conceded ending the forecasting services, managed by respected WA based agricultural meteorologist David Stephens was not an easy decision.

“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,” he said.

Dr Stephens will continue to work in crop and climate forecasting in a private fee-for-service capacity as part of a new venture, Agrometerology Australia.

The review was required under AEGIC’s funding agreement with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

FarmOnline
Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

is the national grains writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
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READER COMMENTS

Jock Munro
18/07/2016 6:54:01 PM

AEGIC should have stuck with weather forecasting! Fiddling around with grain quality and technical services when the industry is firmly in the hands of middlemen merchants is a complete waste of time and funds.
Mark Singer
18/07/2016 9:29:37 PM

The short-term thinking of the AEGIC seems aligned with the closure of other climate forecasting resources in Australia - a case of federal ideological obsession and vested interests. When this current government is voted out or wakes up, its too late - resources and knowledge are dispersed. We will probably need a real disaster to come to our senses as a nation, and that is a very sad indictment.of our politics. Thanks for offering this opportunity to comment. Regards

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