Collaboration yields fruitful decision support

By on 11 September, 2019

A partnership between TERN, CSIRO and Birchip Cropping Group is harnessing detailed landscape data to help farmers make better decisions on crop management.

Yield Prophet, a web-based agricultural decision support tool, now incorporates detailed soils data from TERN’s Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia, to simplify real time crop analysis for farmers who may not know the specific characteristics of their soil.

The tool is based on CSIRO’s Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), and the incorporation of the soils data is the product of a new collaboration between CSIRO, TERN and the Birchip Cropping Group, a not-for-profit agricultural research organisation.

The new feature allows users to model the previous year’s growing season, giving estimated starting points for nitrogen and water levels in the current year.

“A number of farmers told us that they find it challenging to select the right soil characterisation when setting up a new paddock,” said Claire Browne of Birchip Cropping Group Inc.

“Having soil test results for the current season will always provide the most accurate modelling, but we understand that this isn’t always possible,” she said.

“The addition of the TERN soil data has significantly improved the tool and the ability for its users to easily and quickly make informed decisions for the increased farm productivity.”

TERN’s soil and landscape data maps soils and landscapes across Australia with remotely sensed and historical data in an array of attribute products, available in resolution of 3 arc-seconds, or roughly 90 x 90 m per pixel resolution.

It is also accessible in Google Earth Engine, and TERN has developed an R package to facilitate analysis in the statistical programming language R.

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