Project dates: 01/07/2018 - Ongoing
Optimising the efficient use of nitrogen (N) fertiliser is an important goal for cotton growers across Australia. It typically represents 20% of variable costs in irrigated cotton production, and is a major determinant of both profitability and productivity. One way of optimising N use is to use the tools of Precision Agriculture (PA) to deliver on the 4 Rs – putting the right amount of the right product in the right place at the right time. However, at present such strategies can require a substantial investment in time spent processing and analysing data, may require several steps that are not necessarily well integrated, and farmer confidence in these tools as decision aids is low given some of the assumptions which underpin them. The opportunity therefore exists to re-examine and improve the way in which soil and crop sensors are used to inform decisions about N management and to provide a way of automating the process from data acquisition, through analysis, to the formulation and implementation of decision options.
The Future Farm Program Phase 2 aims will improve the way in which soil and crop sensors are used to inform decisions about input management and to provide a way of automating the process from data acquisition, through analysis, to the formulation and implementation of decision options. The initial focus is on improving the efficiency and profitability of applied nitrogen (N). It will focus on the adaptive generation of site-specific management models through increased and improved use of in-season field monitored data (soil, crop, climatic), historic on-farm data, external public and private data and automation of decision rules in software that may potentially be linked to real-time application equipment.
Funding / Grants
- CRDC - Cotton Research and development Corporation (2018 - 2022)