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Development and applications of rainfall forecasts for agriculturally-related decision-making in selected catchments of South Africa
Expanded Title:The overall objective of this project was to develop and test techniques and models for translating weather and climate forecasts in South Africa into applications for decision support at a range of spatial scales in both rainfed and irrigated agricultural production and water management, in order to reduce risks associated with vagaries of day-to-day to seasonal climate variability. The report contains an audit illustrating that there is no lack of climate forecasts available for South Africa. Seven case study applications of weather and climate forecasts are presented. One of the specific objectives of this project was to work towards developing a framework for agrohydrological forecasting for South Africa. This was achieved in two phases, the first being in the early stages of the project with emphasis on a research based framework for an agrohydrological forecasting system for South Africa with the second, building upon the first, moving towards an operational agrohydrological forecast framework. Having utilised climate forecasts for the agricultural sector and developed an agrohydrological climate driven forecast system, a series of benefit analyses of such forecasts is also presented. The report includes an economic benefit analysis of maize management decisions using seasonal rainfall scenarios in which a verification study of maize yield estimates from the APSIM model is followed first by an analysis of simulated maize yields and more importantly then by a comparative economic benefit analysis of different management decisions. One of the recommendations from this project is that sustained and adequate funding (possibly from multiple sources) be made available for one institution in South Africa to be made responsible for the collation (from different sources) and uniform quality control of climate data, and that these data then be made freely available to all bona fide researchers. This multi-organisational and multiple level project highlighted that for weather and climate forecasts to be successful in agricultural decision making, six basic ingredients are necessary.
Date Published:01/10/2012
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Commercial irrigation, Agricultural Water - Small holder irrigation, Agricultural Water - Rainwater harvesting
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 538/12
ISBN No:9781431203338
Authors:Lumsden TG; Schulze RE
Project No:K5/1646
Originator:WRC
Document Size:8 595 KB
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