The aim of the tour was to investigate how the growers could use some of the technologies showcased, or could be adapting or changing practices in their own neck of the woods in the eastern wheatbelt of WA.
While all of the tour was considered valuable to MADFIG representatives, there were some highlights that aligned with the main objectives of the tour.
The group visited Nuffield scholar Jonathon Dyer’s property in Kaniva, Victoria where Jonathon discussed his Nuffield study – ‘The Data farm – An investigation of the implications of collecting data on farm’. The yield and protein monitor that Jonathon uses to target particular zones in the paddock to reallocate N for a more uniform protein profile across the paddock was of particular interest to the group and some of the MADFIG growers are keen to further investigate how the protein metre will add value to their businesses.
Another of the major highlights was a visit to Leo Delahunty’s (Templemore Partners) property in Murtoa, Victoria. Templemore Partners has an external office setup with their own server and this networks back to the houses on the property. The business also has its own internally developed analysis tool that is based on the French & Schultz production forecast. Using this tool allows the business to then make more informed decisions on nutrition, crop rotations and with regard to their grain marketing plan, all down to paddock level.
As a result of this visit, some of the changes that MADFIG growers indicated they are going to make include: installing an internal server to house all business records that can be accessed by all business members, developing their own analysis tools using Excel to house historical yield records and to forecast production potential.
The group also learnt about the possibilities of expanding the use of on-farm weather stations, putting remote sensors on existing solar pumps and tank level sensors on spray tanks.
Overall, as a result of the tour, MADFIG growers were inspired by the demonstarted tools and technologies and are planning to adapt and trial them to suit their own local businesses.
- By Janette Pratt (former eConnected team member)