IF YOU prefer farming rather than filing, then the Growers Action Planner web site is definitely for you. Unlike any other current web site the Growers Action Planner (GAP) has been specifically designed to allow quick and easy retrieval of all technical information required for successful grain production.
The site (www.ezigrain.com.au/gap) is a joint venture between ezigrain, the e-commerce wing of the bulk handling company AusBulk, and the GRDC.
The ezigrain team lead the field when it comes to the development of web-based information systems for graingrowers, and say their main site (www.ezigrain.com.au) is already receiving a huge number of hits per day during the growing and harvest seasons.
"The Growers Action Planner is designed around the crop production year to help graingrowers find the information they need when they want it," said Nicolene Harvey, AusBulk's E-Commerce Marketing Manager.
"Unlike other sites that purely archive technical information, we have organised information for easy retrieval, firstly by growth stage and then under one of eight headings identified by GRDC as the 'yield boosting factors' - for example, nutrition or weed control.
"It is like having eight separate home pages, one for each stage in the crop year. The topics presented at each growth stage can be used as an action checklist or to find answers to specific questions."
For example, to look for the monitoring and control methods for diamondback moth, simply select 'Pest of Flowering and Grainfill' under the 'Pest Control' topic and scroll down the 'Fast Facts' to diamondback moth. On selection, a summary table including pest description, growth stage attacked and damage symptoms, monitoring, thresholds for control, and control methods will quickly appear on the screen.
From here a user can jump to an interactive tool such as the potential yield calculator or the soil moisture calculator. Alternatively you could choose to link to another site.
Over 200 fast facts have already been loaded on the GAP and more are currently being prepared in relation to harvest activities. Other new features including a disease decision support tool, to help growers identify which disease a crop has and how to deal with it, and a nutrient calculator will be launched early next year.
Currently the GAP is for graingrowers in southern Australia but in time it is hoped to be able to provide information for graingrowers in all production areas.