PestFacts WA

PestFacts WA continues successful collaboration with Agworld and Back Paddock


As an alternative method of collecting field data the PestFacts WA team has been successfully collaborating with companies Agworld and Back Paddock, since 2018 and 2019 respectively, to automatically receive pest, disease and weed occurrence reports from their platforms into our database.

The PestFacts WA service relies on the WA grains industry to notify us of the invertebrates and diseases that they are finding in broadacre crops and pastures – whether they know what the insect or disease is or not. In return we provide diagnoses and management advice and alert the grains industry to potential incursions via our PestFacts WA newsletter and other communications. This allows growers and consultants to monitor for specific disorders and respond quickly.

Occurrences are also visually displayed on DPIRD’s PestFacts WA map.

The greater the number of pest, weed and disease reports that DPIRD’s PestFacts WA receives, the more information can be compiled over time to return valuable insights to the WA grains industry.

This reporting system also helps to validate the absence of certain invertebrates, diseases and weeds for Australian grain markets.

The PestFacts WA database is sharing its Application Programming Interface (API) endpoints with Agworld and Back Paddock. For consenting clients, any records entered in the Agworld and Back Paddock Adviser apps that contain pests, weeds or diseases and match a predetermined set of crop/pest/disease combinations are sent as anonymous reports to PestFacts WA.

To address and allay privacy concerns, data is anonymised.

The successful collaboration with Agworld and Back Paddock has seen this season, up to the end of October, a total of 3,799 reports (a combination of weeds, insects, plant disease).

Since beginning this collaboration in 2018, Agworld users have sent more than 6,100 reports (pests, plant diseases and weeds) to the PestFacts WA database. Agworld’s general manager for Australia, Simon Foley, says: “Our aim has been, from the very beginning, to offer a collaborative solution to farmers and their trusted partners. There has been widespread grower adoption which has resulted in large volumes of quality farm data being added to Agworld daily, enabling Agworld and our customers to create these types of synergies for the industry. We firmly believe that this is still only the beginning; the amount of data driven solutions that Agworld can offer to the agricultural sector is really endless”.

Since 2019 Back Paddock Adviser app users have sent almost 3,000 reports in total to the PestFacts WA database. Back Paddock CEO Chris Geeves commented about this collaboration: “We see this collaboration with DPIRD as important for the industry. Sharing aggregated information to enable agronomic advisers and farmers to better track the movement of pests, weeds and diseases, to make better strategic decisions and hopefully reduce the impact on yield, is something we want to be a part of. It’s a further example of the value of digitalisation in agriculture that delivers insights for better farm management, and improved productivity.”

Not all Agworld and Back Paddock reports have been displayed on the PestFacts WA map, but they have assisted the team with gaining a better idea of what pests, plant diseases and weeds were being found across the state by app users.

This collaboration was made possible through a competitive grant process by DPIRD’s eConnected Grainbelt project that was initiated in 2017.

The PestFacts WA team is excited to continue this collaboration and build upon this initiative in the future.

DPIRD’s disease modelling project is also working with Agworld and Back Paddock to deliver the suite of GRDC/DPIRD decision support tools on their platforms.  

For more information, or if you are interested in being involved in this collaboration, contact Senior research scientist Adam Sparks, Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3689 or PestFacts WA newsletter editor Cindy Webster, Narrogin on +61 (0)8 9881 0201.



Article author: Cindy Webster (DPIRD Narrogin).

Article input: Jean Galloway (DPIRD Northam), Adam Sparks, (DPIRD Perth), Simon Foley (Agworld) and Chris Geeves (Back Paddock).