The MED-GOLD team presented a beta version of new tools to support strategic decisions in the durum wheat/pasta sector during a workshop held at the headquarters of the Barilla food company in Parma, Italy.
The workshop consisted of two sessions with about 10 participants overall, including durum wheat farmers, producers’ associations and elevators across different Italian regions, as well as technical experts from local political institutions, breeding, and stocks exchange markets. Participants were identified from those who participated in the previous MED-GOLD workshop for the durum wheat sector, which was hosted by HORTA srl, in Ravenna, Italy, in May 2018.

Climate predictions and durum wheat

This workshop was organised to gather feedback from potential users regarding the MED-GOLD climate service prototypes developed for durum wheat. An initial set of climate indicators and visualization strategies was discussed in small groups of potential users of the MED-GOLD services.
Participants also discussed the concept of predictability of the climate system, which is often understood differently by climate scientists and users of climate services. Users mainly interpret long-term climate predictions (for the next season) as an extension of the familiar concept of deterministic weather forecasts. During the workshop climate experts from the MED-GOLD team illustrated the difference between deterministic and probabilistic climate predictions using simple examples from everyday life.

The main take home message from the workshop was that growers tend to focus more on climate information for the next weeks and months (sub-seasonal to seasonal time scales). Conversely, policy makers, elevators and technical experts from local institutions tend to look at longer time scales, aiming to identify the best adaptation strategies to climate change for the local economy.

The workshop provided useful feedback to scientists for tailoring the climate services to the users’ needs. More interactions with this group of first adopters of the MED-GOLD climate services are expected for further validation of the new tools still under development.

 

Comparing probabilistic climate predictions to sprinkling confetti across the room: it makes no sense catching the single pieces, the aim is to understand the properties of the entire bunch. Video: Massimiliano Pasqui.