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Big data and online tools improve farms from the ground up


TERN-delivered soil and landscape data have been incorporated into a leading agricultural decision-support tool that’s helping farmers achieve more from their land and limited resources, such as rain and nutrients.
 

An exciting new industry collaboration between TERN, CSIRO and Birchip Cropping Group Inc., a not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation led by Victorian farmers, has led to data from TERN’s Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia being incorporated into the Yield Prophet® decision support tool.

 

TERN's Soil and Landscape Grid, available online and via Google Earth Engine (above), provides a range of soil and landscape attribute products from existing databases, new sensor measurements and novel spatial modelling, at a fine spatial resolution (3 arc-seconds or approximately 90 x 90 m pixels)

 

Yield Prophet® is an on-line crop production tool designed to present grain growers and consultants with real-time information about their crops, providing integrated production risk advice and monitoring decision support relevant to farm management. It uses CSIRO’s Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) to create crop simulations and reports to assist in decision making around yield, climate and soil water risk, nitrogen and irrigation applications and more.

 

Yield Prophet® is an easy to use web interface for CSIRO's Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) that generates crop simulations and reports to assist in decision making

 

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

“To address this we incorporated data from TERN’s Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia and now Yield Prophet® users can simply select the location of their paddock from a map and the tool does the rest.”

The new feature of Yield Prophet® models the previous year’s growing season and summer fallow to provide estimated starting points for soil nutrients (nitrogen) and water in the current year. It allows users to set up a paddock based on soil test results or no field tests at all.

 

By incorporating data from TERN's Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia, Yield Prophet® can now provide estimated starting points for soil nutrients (nitrogen) and water in the current year (image courtesy of CSIRO)

 

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

“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.”

 

“The addition of the TERN soil data has significantly improved the [Yield Prophet®] tool and the ability for its users to easily and quickly make informed decisions for the increased farm productivity,” Birchip Cropping Group Inc. (image courtesy of CSIRO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in TERN newsletter September 2019

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