||► Introduces the special issue on Agricultural prediction using climate model ensembles. ► Discuss remaining scientific challenges. ► Develops distinction between projection- and utility-based ensemble modelling. ► Recommendations made RE modelling and the analysis and reporting of uncertainty. Significant progress has been made in the use of ensemble agricultural and climate modelling, and observed data, to project future productivity and to develop adaptation options. An increasing number of agricultural models are designed specifically for use with climate ensembles, and improved methods to quantify uncertainty in both climate and agriculture have been developed. Whilst crop–climate relationships are still the most common agricultural study of this sort, on-farm management, hydrology, pests, diseases and livestock are now also examined. This paper introduces all of these areas of progress, with more detail being found in the subsequent papers in the special issue. Remaining scientific challenges are discussed, and a distinction is developed between projection- and utility-based approaches to agro-climate ensemble modelling. Recommendations are made regarding the manner in which uncertainty is analysed and reported, and the way in which models and data are used to make inferences regarding the future. A key underlying principle is the use of models as tools from which information is extracted, rather than as competing attempts to represent reality.