Farms’ online boost – Pilot scheme for graziers

TASMANIAN graziers will now have access to a new online decision-making tool developed by CSIRO in conjunction with producers.

The project was instigated by the East Coast Primary Producers Association with funding achieved by NRM South through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and is being trialled and launched in partnership with NRM North and other stakeholders.

It is being used with great success across NSW.

Farming Forecaster has already demonstrated its relevance to pasture-based graziers in NSW and will give Tasmanian graziers better insight into current conditions and impact on pasture availability over the coming season.

Tim Ackroyd, from NRM South, said Farming Forecaster was a fantastic opportunity to support farmers across the state.

“This tool has already demonstrated significant benefits in NSW in similar conditions to Tasmania. I’m confident that it will do the same here and provide considerable value to Tasmanian graziers in managing challenging and variable climate conditions,” Mr Ackroyd said.

Twelve sites have been established to start the pilot work across Triabunna, Kelvedon, Cranbrook, St Marys, Fingal, Avoca, the Southern and Northern Midlands, and North Bruny.

The inclusion of a variety of terrain, soil and conditions will improve the information available to farmers in these areas.

“I encourage graziers to get online and explore the tool and attend one of our events. Farmers who are interested in being part of the pilot should contact me directly,” Tim said.

The tool can also incorporate on-farm data after a capital investment in sensors. This will increase the tool’s direct relevance properties, particularly useful on sites with highly variable terrain, soil and conditions.

NRM South and NRM North will be supporting farmers and advisors to understand the benefits and how to use this tool by running training events in March, June and August in the north and south of the state.

Those involved in managing extensive dryland grazing enterprises are strongly encouraged to attend.

If you would like to know more about the project and up and coming events contact Tim Ackroyd on: tackroyd@nrmsouth.org.au 0400 047 665.

To view the Farming Forecaster website, visit farmingforecaster.com.au/.

Tasmanian data will be available soon.

This Tasmanian pilot is part of a project funded under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Published by Roger Hanson

Rural and primary industries writer

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