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Southern Farming Systems National Landcare Programme Smart Farming Project
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Southern Farming Systems - National Landcare Program Smart Farming Project

Southern Farming Systems has been awarded funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Entitled ‘Building the resilience and profitability of cropping and grazing farmers in the high rainfall zone of Southern Australia’ the project involves input and collaboration from CeRDI and other consortium members including farming groups, industry bodies, private enterprise and the Victorian Government.

This project is focussed on providing information that increases farmer and agronomist ability to make better on-farm management decisions.

Background

The Southern Farming Systems project will comprise two interrelated research components. The first component of this project involves improving the precision (timing, rate, location) where lime is applied on cropping and grazing farms and develops cost effective ways of rectifying subsoil acidity. The project will unlock value by actively involving all parties involved in the lime supply chain (farmers, advisors, industry associations, suppliers).

The second component of the project is focused on resilient farm businesses and strengthening farm decisions by combining the highly successful Grain & Graze decision procedures with four disparate pieces of vital real time information - soil water, pasture availability, commodity prices and climate data. The project will also incorporate the installation of additional probes and data from weather stations comprising next generation technology that will provide farm level moisture imaging. Bringing together data in a dashboard with push notification together with skills and confidence building in farmers (especially women farmers and young farmers) will be another important outcome associated with this project.

Extensive workshops and activities will be delivered to farmers and the wider farmer industry to ensure critical discussions and the sharing of data across components one and two occur. This will ensure broad understanding for key stakeholder between soil moisture, price, climate and pasture/crop levels.

Outcomes

This project will improve the precision (timing, rate, location) where lime is applied on cropping and grazing farms and develops cost effective ways of rectifying subsoil acidity. The project will unlock value by actively involving all parties involved in the lime supply chain (farmers, advisors, industry associations, suppliers).

It is anticipated that at least one PhD student will conduct research concurrently with this project.

 

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    RESEARCH OUTPUT

    CeRDI’s Dr Nathan Robinson, Senior Research Fellow, will lead CeRDI’s involvement on this project which will comprise the creation of the lime calculator, precision application of lime, enhanced moisture probe network, satellite imagery, price data and one stop decision platform (dashboard) for resilient farm businesses.

    Additional CeRDI team members involved in this project include Assoc Prof Peter Dahlhaus, Technical staff members Andrew MacLeod and Scott Limmer and Research Associate Dr Megan Wong.

    CeRDI will also work closely with other members of the consortia on key activities associated with collecting research data, for this study.

 

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