The NFU yesterday highlighted the need for seasonal weather forecasting to extend over agricultural timescales, so that British farmers can better manage potential risks to their businesses and the environment.
Speaking at a two-day seasonal forecasting discussion in Loughborough, NFU climate change adviser Ceris Jones emphasised that more reliable seasonal forecasts which fit farmers’ geographical locations and longer timescales need to be developed and presented in a farmer-friendly way.
Dr Jones said: “It is essential that British farmers have access to weather forecasts at a range of timescales to enable them to manage climatic volatility and continue to feed a growing British and global population with less environmental impact.
“This is why we participated in the Euporias project run by the Met Office and the University of Leeds, where farmers in the South West co-designed and developed a prototype seasonal winter weather forecast that extended up to three months ahead.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for farmers to ensure that the forecast delivered the necessary information and was presented in a format that worked for them.
“The myriad of decisions farmers make are always influenced by the weather and we want to see agriculture-appropriate seasonal forecasts rolled out across the whole of the UK.”