Phone app gives growers context
GRAIN growers and lucerne producers will have the ability to estimate crop yields, thanks to a new smartphone app.
CSIRO’S Graincast allows growers to forecast grain yield with the touch of a button by utilising a range of inputs, geographical data and satellites.
To get a yield estimate, growers are required to input three pieces of information – the paddock they want analysed, the crop grown last season and the crop they plan to grow in the present season.
It is the only app that gives instantaneous soil, water and yield information at any time, drawing on additional information from satellites, climate forecast and sensors.
Information is drawn from the Sil and Landscape Grid of Australia, APSIM (the agricultural production systems simulator) crop model, MODIS and LANDSAT satellites.
The app was developed by CSIRO scientists in response to feedback from grain growers about what they needed and what they liked about their job.
CSIRO scientist Roger Lawes said the app would allow growers to make better informed crop and paddock management decisions in near-real time.
“Farmers didn’t want to be told what to do, farmers just wanted the key information so they could decide what was best for them,”
Dr Lawes said.
“They wanted something that was mobile, quick and easy to use.”
The app allows various industry players such as advisers, bulk handlers, marketers, commodity forecasters and insurers to forecast grain production at regional and national scales. ■ Graincast is free to use and can be obtained by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers just wanted the key information so they could decide what was best for them.
— Roger Lawes
FUTURE PLANNING: The CSIRO’S Graincast app will allow farmers to predict yields.