Of the number of seasonal forecasting systems that have been developed of late, none are of practical benefit to Western Australian farmers. This study aims to improve the methodology for assessing the value of forecasting technology ex ante to its development, using the Merredin agricultural region of Western Australia as an illustration. Results suggest that a seasonal forecasting technology that provides a 30% decrease in seasonal uncertainty increases annual profits by approximately 5%. The accumulated annual benefit to farmers in the Merredin region (an area with 754 farm holdings over 35,500 km(2) of land) is approximately 2 million dollars. Hence, support is given for the development of seasonal forecasting techniques in Western Australia. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.