Better Weather Data To Give Farmers More Certainty

  • Minister for Agriculture

Farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee can now make vital management decisions with more confidence, as the new Rainbow weather radar begins to transmit real-time data across the region.

The new Doppler radar fills a gap in the radar network, giving farmers more accurate data so they can make more informed, time-critical decisions about harvesting, crop planting and the use of chemicals and fertilisers.

The radar will also provide better short-term rainfall forecasts and additional information for emergency services and Bureau of Meteorology experts during severe weather events.

The $9.3 million Rainbow Radar project is a partnership between the local community, Wimmera Development Association (WDA), the Andrews Labor Government and the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Government provided $5 million for the construction of the Rainbow radar and the Bureau of Meteorology have committed $4.3 million for its maintenance and operating costs for the next 15 years.

The dual-polarised radar’s construction was in response to a WDA business case, which highlighted the significant cost savings and productivity benefits the radar would bring to the Wimmera and Southern Mallee.

Data from the Rainbow Radar is now available at bom.gov.au/australia/radar. For more information about the radar, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/rainbowradar.

As noted by Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“The Rainbow radar will make a real difference to farmers across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee regions, as well as emergency services – who’d previously had to rely on data from radars in Mount Gambier and Mildura.”

“Accurate weather information is critical to making good faming decisions. We’re proud to partner with the Bureau of Meteorology and the local community, who passionately advocated for this project.”

As noted by Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley

“The new radar underlines the Federal Government’s strong commitment to strengthening the Bureau of Meteorology’s national observations network and will benefit farmers in Victoria and into southern NSW, including I note, a key corner of Farrer.”

“We know just how vital radar and weather information is when farmers, emergency services and the broader community need to make critical decisions and that is why we’re making significant budget commitments focused on supporting regional Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology’s national observations network.”

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