Australian farmers can forecast grain yield at the touch of a button thanks to a new smartphone app developed by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO.
The innovation, known as Graincast, allows growers to estimate yields ranging from a single paddock right up to their entire farm.
“Having a yield forecast can help farmers with crop input management, setting yield targets, diagnosing yield constraints, risk management, marketing decisions, forward selling and more,” says CSIRO scientist Dr Roger Lawes.
“The app is easy to use, and growers need to input just three pieces of information: the paddock they want analysed, the crop grown last season and the crop they plan to grow or are growing in the current season,” he says.
Graincast gives instantaneous soil, water and yield information at any time without the need for substantial user input. The app means growers can make better informed crop and paddock management decisions in near real-time.
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.
“They told us that they wanted something that was mobile, quick and easy to use. They didn’t want to be told what to do, they just wanted the key information so they could decide what was best for them. So that’s what we built,” says Roger.
The app also enables various other industry players such as advisers, bulk handlers, marketers, commodity forecasters and insurers to forecast grain production on regional and national scales.