Cropping

Soil moisture data improved for farm businesses

By Country News

A revamp to the Victorian Government's Soil Moisture Monitoring Program will give farmers more accurate and up-to-date information to make critical business decisions.

The upgrades, which went live on Thursday, make it easier and quicker to access soil data, with an improved search function which allows farmers to distinguish between crop types being monitored, pasture and soil types, and locations.

The program currently has a number of cropping and grazing sites across the state, including in Elmore and Youanmite.

Previously, the data had been only available via a monthly e-newsletter subscription or by using a verified login but new tools will now translate the data into real-time local information.

These tools include a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one- to three-month rainfall outlook for Victoria.

The improvements will also enable more farmers to see the daily ‘Speedo soil moisture graphs’, which are a real-time soil moisture percentage measure.

These graphs are an important tool for farmers experiencing increasingly variable climatic conditions, specifically rainfall to make timely decisions.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the Soil Moisture Monitoring Program had been providing soil water content data to farmers for almost a decade.

“This improvement will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth, by helping farmers better measure what’s going on underneath the surface,” Ms Symes said.

Farmers can subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria Soil Moisture Monitoring e-newsletter to get further information and analysis of data.

The new Soil Moisture Monitoring Program portal can be found at: agriculture.vic.gov.au/soilmoisturemonitoring

For more information on drought and dry seasonal conditions support and services, phone 136 186 or visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons