With the world’s agricultural industry expected to feed two billion more people in the next 30 years, we understand the critical role we need to play in delivering technological solutions for growers’ evolving needs.We see the growing need for new and improved technologies as an exciting opportunity and believe we're ready for the challenge.
Investment in new technologies is nothing new for us. We have continuously invested in technologies to improve the profitability of Western Australian farmers and have always aimed to support growers in using the right fertiliser product, at the right rate, at the right place and right time on their farms.
Since 1923 we've invested in research and replicated field trials to better understand WA soils, crops, pastures and their fertiliser needs. Beyond developing and testing new and improved fertiliser products, our trials team adopts and tests new technologies to measure and monitor crop and pasture growth.
Our Trials Manager Justin Mercy says the extensive trials program tests a range of products and emerging technologies.
“CSBP is assessing new technologies such as drones which use Normalised Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) imagery to calculate dry matter; and Automatic Pasture Readers, which use ultrasonic pulses to measure biomass and convert it to dry matter, with more trusted and proven methodologies such as plate cuts and mowers.”
“Our dedicated research results website csbpresults.com.au makes it easy for growers to view trial results and insights and act on them throughout the season. The site highlights key findings as they happen helping growers to make better fertiliser decisions”.
Full season nutrition management
CSBP DecipherAg and DecipherAg Mobile provide a seamless georeferencing soil and plant sampling process. They allow growers to easily plan and assign sampling jobs, collect samples, submit samples to the CSBP Lab and manage sample results.
DecipherAg was the result of seven years of software development and is continually improving. The recent addition of MSAVI satellite imagery, which helps detect changes in early crop and pasture growth, is just one example of a recent improvement. The fertiliser planning and prescription map creation tools help growers turn recommendations into actions.
This year the ASPAC accredited CSBP Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Computerised sample tracking and the introduction of robotics has enabled the lab to drive efficiency, accuracy and capacity to make sure samples are processed quickly and accurately.
Once samples have been analysed, the results are interpreted through CSBP’s NUlogic models. CSBP NUlogic is the industry recognised nutrition recommending tool which incorporates the learnings of 60 years of field trials. The models are monitored and updated by a dedicated soil scientist who works with CSBP’s advance analytics team to ensure that recommendations are accurate and relevant for WA’s changing climate and crop types.
This growing season we're piloting a service called CSBP Detect with a select number of broadacre customers. Enhanced with decades of field research, the nutrient detection service uses near infrared spectroscopy and machine learning to deliver real-time nitrogen analysis to growers in-season. The timely turnaround in results helps growers make faster and more-informed nitrogen decisions throughout the season.
Knowing the nitrogen status of a crop at individual sample locations allows growers to maximise their yield potential and grain quality for different rainfall scenarios.
Our Senior Digital Agricultural Specialist Doug Hamilton said the initial desktop work on various technologies started in early 2015 when near infrared spectroscopy was identified as the best option for further investigation for real-time nutrient analysis.
“The project has leveraged a range of internal and external people and skillsets including agronomists, data scientists and chemists, university researchers, spectroscopy specialists, electronic engineers, electrical manufacturing consultants and growers”.
For many, agriculture has become a major logistics operation and making sure the right product, equipment and staff are in the right place at the right time has its challenges. In a bid to alleviate one of these problems CSBP has recently introduced a tank telemetry service to help growers across the state effectively manage their CSBP Flexi-N supplies.
The telemetry service allows growers to monitor their Flexi-N tank levels in their myCSBP portal. Using satellite connectivity relaying tank level data, growers can make informed management decisions plus save the time previously used travelling to check tanks. The service also means growers can quickly identify any theft or leakage of Flexi-N.