Three online tools for smarter farming

By Pamela Tyers

21 February 2020

4 minute read

a hand holding a mobile phone

Our 1622WQ online app monitors nitrogen fertiliser run off from farms

Our primary producers are facing a tough time, what with bushfires, droughts and flooding rains. We’ve created three online tools to assist farmers with decision making. Here’s an overview of each tool and how it can help farmers.

Helping sugarcane farmers protect the Great Barrier Reef

Get the app: 1622™WQ

In a world-first, sugarcane farmers in far North Queensland can now use an online tool to help manage fertiliser use. It is used to reduce nitrogen runoff into the Great Barrier Reef from intensive crop production.

This is a major threat to the health of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystems. With knowledge about runoff, farmers can see how the local water quality changes and this information could alter decisions in farm management practices, particularly after rainfall.

The online app 1622™WQ gives real-time information on water quality in local waterways. High frequency automatic sensors are deployed in waterways and coastal catchments. We perform advanced analytics to the data, enabling nitrate concentrations and rainfall to be displayed in real-time.

Stephen Calcagno is a sugarcane grower and Chairman in the Cairns region of the peak body CANEGROWERS. He is using the app.

“This will be a great tool for farmers to see the impact of their farm management and help them improve their practices and the environment,” Stephen said.

“I look forward to seeing what happens over the coming wet season.”

The name 1622 comes from Queensland’s tallest mountain, which is where the tool’s initial development took place. This app is available now and was launched in Cairns in January this year.

CSIRO LOOC-C carbon farming online app

Have a look-see at carbon farming

Get the app: LOOC-C

Carbon farming is a fairly new farming practice that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It captures and holds carbon in plants and soil. We’ve developed some high-tech tools to help farmers decide to undertake a project or not.

Our online app LOOC-C is a tool for farmers to quickly assess the greenhouse gas abatement options for a specific land area, such as a paddock. This includes estimates in Australian Carbon Credit Units.

Despite strong interest in carbon farming, there are uncertainties around risk versus value, cost and trust. LOOC-C helps producers discover and assess their options for participating in a project through the Emissions Reduction Fund and other markets. We’re working on managing risk and confidentiality, while also looking to boost confidence in the carbon market.

An obvious option for carbon farming is planting trees. Other options can include clearing a paddock versus cropping, reducing soil tilling or improving energy efficiency. Australia’s carbon markets could help farmers achieve best management practices, steward the land and supplement farm incomes.

rain falling in the distance over paddocks

The right weather forecast information can help farmers make the right decisions.

Weather forecast in your paddock

Get the low down: Ag Climate Data Shop

There is one thing you will hear farmers discussing on the regular – and that’s the weather! Obviously, the weather and climate are crucial to maximising best practice for farming. Having the right information, at the right time, can help farmers make the right decision.

Until now, it hasn’t been easy to display Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weather and climate data in online tools. However, we can take the BOM’s historical, real-time or forecast data and apply our cutting-edge analytics. We can then make it available for any specific location in Australia in real-time.

Initial use will be for agriculture, such as forecasting pasture growth, but the possibilities are endless! How would you like to have the most accurate weather forecast for your stargazing picnic, for example? Or an outdoor movie screening in your local park? It can pinpoint your location to exactly where you are, right now. How many of your favourite apps could do with a weather forecast super-charge?

If you’re in the business of building digital tools for agriculture, agribusiness or anything else, you’ve come to the right place. Do you think it would it be important, useful or even just plain cool to display the weather forecast alongside your tool? Visit our Ag Climate Data Shop and discover how you can.