While the dams may be full at the moment, Australia’s climate variability means drought is something the region’s farmers will always be wary of. This is why Council’s Waste Water Treatment Plan and Reuse Farm has recently started state of the art software program Ag360. Developed by the University of New England, the software is designed to predict rainfall, soil moisture, and livestock performance based on historic data.
Armidale Regional Council’s Mayor Ian Tiley said this program eliminates risk associated with climate uncertainty, which will hopefully result in improved overall performance for the Reuse Farm.
“As the seasons become more unpredictable and water is more valuable, we need to ensure our operations are as efficient as possible in order to reduce costs, improve productivity, and reduce risk to staff and livestock,” he said.
“Our Reuse Farm is home to 540 head of cattle, 65 hectares of lucerne, and 284 hectares of native and improved pastures, so it’s vital we embrace contemporary advancements like Ag360 to improve our practices and protect the welfare of our stock, crops and pastures.”
The software’s main feature is its ability to record the past in order to predict the future. Staff at the Reuse Farm now have the ability to record rainfall data, paddock movements, animal weights and animal health treatments. This data is then used to predict future rainfall, pasture availability, stock movements, weight prediction, and the future health of livestock.
“Because of these features, staff at the Reuse Farm can plan ahead, giving them the power to know when livestock numbers need to be increased or decreased, and when pasture supplementation will be required,” said Mayor Tiley.
“This will ensure the correct amount of feed is always available, and pastures remain at the highest possible standard.”
The farm will trial the program until the end of 2022. For more information about the software, visit www.ag360.com.au.
Published on 29 Sep 2021