AN agricultural climatologist has been officially recognised for her contribution to the rural sector.
Rebecca Darbyshire of NSW Department of Primary Industries received the ICM Agrifood Award from the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
“It is a real honour there is a lot of good people working in agrifood and it is motivating and a big shot in the arm,” she said.
Dr Darbyshire said working with farmers allowed her to share information about how weather and climate can affect what they do.
“It is our job to help them understand how weather rand climate affects their farm and their situation,” she said.
NSW DPI climate director Jason Crean said Dr Darbyshire’s research had focused on leading climate change readiness for Australian fruit and tree nut industries.
“She has boosted industry knowledge of fruit tree responses to weather conditions, focusing on winter chill, extreme heat damage and flowering cycles,” Dr Crean said.
“Farmers in those industries now have the tools to better make decisions and investments, which boost productivity and profitability.
“A major contribution from Dr Darbyshire has seen the development of innovative ways to make complex scientific results more accessible for farmers,” he said.
“Now she is applying those skills in work with NSW DPI, which is exploring climate variability , its possible impacts and management strategies for livestock industries, and irrigated dryland cropping, grains, cotton, rice and sugar.”
The aim is to build a better understanding of how crops are influenced by weather and climate so farmers are equipped to manage climate variability and adapt to climate change.