Why it matters
For certain vegetable crops, farmers and farm managers make decisions about irrigation regularly. The decision process involves the assessment of the feasible actions that could be taken (how much and when to irrigate) a well as the assessment of states of nature (weather and other crop attributes), which are beyond the control of the decision maker, but have an impact on the outcomes. This can then be combined with a criterion for selecting the appropriate action.
What renders decision making hard is the uncertainty associated with the relevant states of nature. This uncertainty can be managed by accessing information extracted from appropriately collected data combined with the expert knowledge of the decision maker.
This project seeks to develop data analytics to support irrigation decisions based on apps and The Yield’s sensor technology. We are using data from trials of different vegetable crops across Australia to develop novel data-driven mathematical models and data analytics (algorithms) that can provide key information to irrigation decision makers. The vegetable crops selected have been identified as the highest production value in Australian horticulture.
A component of the project also considers the development of efficient ways of presenting information to users in order to enhance decision support. To do this, we are looking at areas other than agriculture and using knowledge and understanding of human cognition.
Real world impact
Access to localised information is one of the main limiting factors for achieving greater irrigation efficiency. This project seeks to support our industry partner, The Yield, in delivering digital tools that can increase irrigation efficiencies for Australian and potentially global farmers.
This project also provides a novel framework for rapid pathways to commercialisation by agile deployment of research outcomes and co-development with the horticultural industry.
This project was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using vegetable levies with co-investment from The Yield and funds from the Australian Government.
Other Team Members
- Tim Neale (Lead Digital Agronomy - The Yield)
- Doris Blaesing (Consultant soil and crop - RMCG )
- Peta Neale (Agronomy Project Manager - The Yield)