CropPro: An online revolution in Crop Diagnostics for Agronomists
A new web-based diagnostic Tool to assist agronomists to identify and manage cropping constraints was recently launched following extensive development by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Federation University’s Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI). Advancing the availability of online information about wheat and canola crop growing, CropPro has three core functions including diagnosing crop problems, supporting risk analysis, and providing evidence-based information to manage crop constraints. Features of this online Tool include wheat and canola diagnostic tools, economic calculators for managing most constraints, explanatory videos and content, and search functions offering a customised portal for accessing recent, evidence-based information from trusted sources.
The Tool was developed in close association with Project Leader Dr Chris Pittock, DEPI. CeRDI was instrumental in developing the online framework for CropPro including the knowledge base and the integration of economic calculators, modules and decision support tools. In commenting on the Tool, Dr Pittock stated that
CropPro will support the grains industry to overcome constraints to increase grain production in line with the Victorian Government’s goal to double production by 2030. Dr Chris Pittock (DEPI)
To enhance the value of the Tool for end-users, crop advisors were engaged throughout the Tool’s development to provide industry insight and feedback. CeRDI director Dr Helen Thompson commented that CropPro was designed to meet the needs of agronomists and to support decision making:
The development of this Tool enables agronomists to access current and wide-ranging cropping information via the internet, offering a substantial advancement in the retrieval of information to support decision making. Dr Helen Thompson (CeRDI)
The launch of CropPro is also testament to the spirit of partnership and collaboration that exists between the three project partners and forged over an extended period. Federation University, GRDC, and DEPI have a history of shared partnership across various projects drawing upon the mutual understanding and skill sets of each organisation to achieve success.
The project partners are confident that this online Tool will now assist farmers, grower groups, and agronomists-alike to make decisions about crop constraints based on agronomic observations thus enhancing and protecting the crops of the southern region. The value of the Tool now rests with the industry and it’s utilisation of this resource.
Research investment in this project was secured from state government funding through the Victorian DEPI with substantial in-kind support and investment from GRDC.