Valuing seasonal climate forecasts in a state-contingent manner

Jason Crean, Kevin Parton, John Mullen, Peter Hayman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We applied state-contingent theory to climate uncertainty at a farm level to assess the value of seasonal climate forecasts in the Central West region of NSW. We find that modelling uncertainty in a state-contingent manner results in a lower estimate of forecast value than the typical expected value approach. We attribute this finding to a more conservative long-term farm plan in the discrete stochastic programming (DSP) model, which is better balanced for climate uncertainty. Hence, a climate forecast, even though it still revises probabilities held by farmers, does not call forth such large changes in farm plans and associated farm incomes. We then use the DSP model to assess how attributes of a hypothetical forecasting system, particularly its skill and timeliness, as well as attributes of the decision environment, influence its value. Lastly, we assess the value of current operational forecast systems and show that the value derived from seasonal climate forecasts is relatively limited in the case study region largely because of low skill embodied in forecasts at the time when major farm decisions are being made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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