Web and mobile apps put the power in your hands
Supplied by CSIRO
The power to accurately predict agricultural conditions and analyse situations to make informed decisions is rapidly moving directly into the hands of end users. Mobile and wireless technologies now allow those decisions to happen right in the paddock.
Web and mobile apps developed by CSIRO and collaborators are allowing farmers to ride the precision agriculture wave themselves, as well as play their own part in providing scientific data.
Apps help farmers make good decisions.
One example of how users can make informed crop management decisions via an integrated suite of functionalities is the SoilWaterApp (www.soilwaterapp.net.au and iOS), created by University of Southern Queensland in a collaboration with CSIRO.
Users input information on their location, soil type and current crop management. The app finds the nearest weather station, and on a daily basis will predict the soil’s moisture levels throughout the cropping season.
SoilMapp (www.csiro.au/soilmapp and iOS) provides direct access to national soil data and information from the Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS www.asris.csiro.au) as well as the APSoil database.
Developed by CSIRO in conjunction with the Australian Collaborative Land Evaluation Program and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the app provides information on the total amount of water that more than 1,200 soils across Australia can store and release to different crops.
Developed by CSIRO and the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), the Yield Prophet platform uses the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) to calculate yield probabilities across a range of data, including: in-season rainfall, soil test results, crop management strategies, and localised historic climate data.
BCG’s Tim McClelland said one of the app’s core strengths is its integration with other apps, including Crop Manager and SoilMate.
Web technologies such as MouseAlert (www.mousealert.org.au and iOS) also have the potential to save crops from an entirely different threat to their yields – mouse plagues.
The easy-to-use MouseAlert app only requires basic information on observed numbers (around five mice per hectare is the average), damage caused and any control activities. It is also quick to use, taking less than five minutes to complete – enough time for machinery operators to lodge a report before they finish a row.