Grain and Graze 3
Grain and Graze 3 is an online portal which provides updated information, case studies, articles, discussion papers, tools and other decision-making resources to assist mixed farming enterprises. Grain and Graze 3 was developed in collaboration with Nicon Rural Services.
Grain and Graze 3 is the third phase of a long-term program to support farmers to manage the complexities of mixed farming enterprises such as livestock and cropping across the many different climates and environments of the Australian continent.
The original Grain and Graze project commenced in 2003 and was a research and extension project for mixed livestock and cropping enterprises supported by a collaboration of Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia, Land and Water Australia and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The original project identified the need for universal principles to reduce the complexity of decision-making for mixed farming enterprises and developed tools for these enterprises to identify the combination of livestock, crops and pastures which would increase profitability and improve the farm natural resource base.
Since its beginning, the project has led to considerable advances in the understanding of grazing crops, how to integrate livestock and cropping on farms and the management challenges and risks of operating a complex farming system.
CeRDI, in collaboration with Nicon Rural Services and GRDC has developed the next iteration of the project, Grain and Graze 3, an online portal which provides access to research reports and publications, fact sheets, calculators, tools, case studies and other decision-making resources to assist mixed farming enterprises. Another key feature that is valued by farmers and scientists alike is the archive of historical data, providing information about past mixed farming practices and decision-making.
Grain and Graze 3 provides resources to growers and advisors to extend current knowledge by enhancing grower ability to profitably and sustainably integrate crops and livestock and to operate a flexible, responsive farming business across three core areas including:
- Better grazing of cropped land to maximise profit while minimising risk within seasons;
- Improvements to crop and pasture rotations across seasons to benefit livestock and control emerging issues with weeds, losses in organic matter, nitrogen and soil structure; and
- Enhancing decision making to achieve the business and personal outcomes a farmer wants.
In addition, Grain and Graze 3 has an archive of historical data, information and resources which were developed for the original Grain and Graze project and its successor, Grain and Graze 2.
Grain and Graze 3, and associated online tools such as the Agricultural Price Guide Tool and crop rotation decision support tool (in development), provide farmers with a national resource in which access to past and current information across core farming themes is delivered through an innovative digital platform. This information may assist in problem-solving complex farming issues and lead to developments and innovation for improved farming practices.
The Grain and Graze 3 website, together with the Ag Price Guide, provide an invaluable repository of information that is helping to transform current and future industry practices for Australia’s mixed farming businesses.
Mr Cam Nicholson, Director of Nicon Rural Services
The Grain and Graze project has combined conventional digital web content and information with customised interactive decision support applications to provide a suite of resources to assist farm decision making and planning.
CeRDI’s content management system, Content Builder, allows the site coordinators to manage and update all content and resources on the website. Content Builder’s category and resource management modules allow users to easily organise publications and other reference material in line with the key themes across 3 iterations of the Grain and Graze project.
CeRDI worked with Nicon Rural Services to consolidate the information architecture of the Grain and Graze 3 website with its previous iterations to make the current project learnings easily accessible while ensuring prior information and resources were not lost.