A NEW app-based system for recording and sharing rain gauge data will help to create comprehensive localised rainfall maps and aid crop agronomy decision-making as the growing season unfolds.
This unique tool is now available free-of-charge to all farmers through the Agworld collaborative farm management app.
Already, Agworld ‘rainfall’ is amassing thousands of rain reports across Australia as farmers embrace the opportunity to help build a picture of where the soil moisture is in their area.
Their rainfall records are inputted straight from paddock rain gauges, using iPhones or iPads in four easy ‘taps’, and can be saved and viewed as daily rain, season-to-date, month-to-date and past seasons.
A unique aspect of the system is that if farmers ‘opt in’, they can also share the information from their property’s rain gauges with their agronomists and neighbours via Agworld.
This data is immediately available to their agronomist for including in planning crop nutrition, crop protection and grain marketing strategies.
With their advisers, they can then make plans based on a more widespread and accurate database of rainfall information from across their district.
Agworld Australia general manager Simon Foley said more than 95 per cent of Australian farmers who responded to a recent company survey said they relied on their own rain gauge information, rather than Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) weather station records, to underpin cropping decisions.
“Farmers are already sharing vital rainfall information with each other via social media channels because they see value in having as much data at their fingertips as possible for agronomic planning,” he said.
“Easily sharing rainfall records is the first step in fundamental changes to the way the agricultural industry will extract value from its ‘big’ datasets in future to drive innovation and value-adding.
“Aggregated information, whether it is about rainfall or pest or disease incidence etc, will give farmers and their advisers much better insight about what is happening in paddocks across a farm, a district, a state or nation-wide.”
Mr Foley said farmers using the Agworld app needed to ‘opt in’ to enable sharing of rainfall information with other farmers. Alternatively, they could keep this function switched off for privacy.
He said when sharing on the Agworld ‘rainfall’ function, this also allowed access to relevant local information from the BoM, including weather station feeds and historical data for the past 10 years. This facilitated analysis of longer-term trends.
Source: Agworld, www.agworld.com.au