Modelling gives crop yield picture

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 02 Sep 2015

Image of Beverley grower Deane Aynsley with an automatic rain gauge and humidity sensor installed as part of GRDC RCSN trials.

Western Australian growers can get an idea of the yield potential of their crops by going online to access soil moisture and Yield Prophet® information for a range of sites in the grainbelt.

Under a project initiated by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) initiative, 26 soil moisture probes have been installed at a range of sites in the Kwinana, Albany and Esperance port zones.

The probes (which are linked to weather sensors) give real-time information about how much soil water is ‘in the bucket’.

Yield Prophet® reports for 20 of the sites, which are being managed by Precision Agronomics Australia (PAA) and the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), are generated throughout the season.

PAA technology development manager Frank D’Emden said the reports helped to quantify the improvement in crop yield potential following the significant rainfall in late July.

“At mid-August, yield estimates were 1.7 to 2.5 tonnes per hectare for canola at East Beverley and Mt Madden respectively, and 1.2 to 4.2t/ha for cereals at sites from Beacon to Ravensthorpe,” he said.

“The improvements ranged from 0.7t/ha and 0.5t/ha for the canola at East Beverley and Mt Madden, to 0.4 to 2.8t/ha in the cereals, with Bonnie Rock and Southern Cross being the real winners with potential boosts of more than 2t/ha,” he said.

Full Yield Prophet® reports, including nitrogen profit reports, and details about each site can be found on the ‘Probes and Prophets’ webpage.

DAFWA’s Caroline Peek said reports and information for an additional 15 Yield Prophet sites in the eastern area of the Kwinana port zone can be accessed on the Yield Prophet website, using ‘yp’ as the user name and password.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Frank D’Emden, Precision Agronomics Australia
08 9072 0542

Caroline Peek, DAFWA
08 9081 3104


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code PRE00003

Region West