SoilWaterApp

SoilWaterApp (SWApp) provides Australian farmers and advisers with a ready estimate of plant available water in the soil (PAW) during a fallow and early crop phase.

Soil water (PAW) can be a critical component of a crops water supply, influencing crop yield and profit. Estimates of PAW contribute to richer decisions at planting and early in crop growth where inputs can be adjusted.

SWApp estimates soil water (PAW) using a tested water balance model and inputs from:

  • weather data from a nearby Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) sourced from the Silo (https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/); plus
  • rainfall data from a local rain gauge (entered manually); or
  • rainfall data automatically uploaded from a Bluetooth enabled rain gauge (10m range); and
  • a soil description best suited to local conditions; and
  • soil and crop cover conditions for each paddock.

The model in SWApp simulates infiltration, runoff, evaporation, transpiration and deep drainage to provide an estimate of soil water on a daily basis. Additionally, SWApp uses long term climate data to provide a forward looking estimate of likely outcomes for the specified soil, climate and cover conditions. Starting conditions are specified by the user and can be adjusted from sensors such as a soil push probe or soil water sensor network.

The functionality of SWApp will increase us more data sources come on-line (e.g. other climate and soil water networks and new sensors).

Acknowledgements

SoilWaterApp was developed for the Grains Research and Development Corporation project “New tools to measure and monitor soil water” (USQ 00014) by the University of Southern Queensland. This App’s development benefited from the significant contributions of grain growers and research scientists across Australia who contributed data for model testing and feedback on the user experience.

Check out soilwaterapp.net.au for more info