PASTURE PICKER - A WEB BASED TOOL TO ASSIST IN SOWN PASTURE CHOICES
| Date: 06 Sep 2010
Designed for Australian farmers and their advisors the Pasture Picker tool allows growers easy access to regionally specific information about sown pasture species and varieties.
Content on Pasture Picker has been developed by CSIRO, state agency and private sector agronomists working on behalf of Pastures Australia whose partners include, GRDC, MLA, AWI, Dairy Australia as well as RIRDC who manage the program on behalf of all the partners.
What makes Pasture Picker different is that growers can choose to filter the content by selecting their region (from a map or list), the end use of the pasture and the soil type and rainfall in which it is to be grown. For example, a mixed farmer east of Goondiwindi could choose a short term pasture on a clay soil to find the relevant information content.
The home page starts with a map of Australia. You can then click on state and region and select specific intended end uses, which include:
• Permanent pasture (greater than 5 years)
• Medium term (3-5 years)
• Short term (2 years or less)
• Green chop
• Conservation (hay/haylage/silage/leaf meal)
• Green manure
• Browse (perennial shrubs)
• Irrigated pasture
The plant type can be chosen (all, grass, legume, other).
Choices can be made for the soil type (texture, pH, salinity and drainage) and the specific rainfall.
Based on the parameters chosen the list of pasture entities is narrowed down. You can then click on a fact sheet for each of the relevant pastures and view on the screen or print it out as a pdf. The factsheets include:
• Scientific name
• Plant description
• Pasture type and use
• Where it grows
• Animal production
• Where to find further information
• Details of the author
All the terms used can be found in a helpful glossary. The fact sheets will be updated through an expert panel from around the country.
Pasture Picker was developed by CSIRO and the University of Queensland using the Lucid program software. It is maintained by the University of Queensland. It builds on the SoFT Selection of Forages for the Tropics tool developed some time ago specifically for tropical pastures which also uses Lucid. Stuart Brown of CSIRO worked with pasture leaders from around the country to tailor it for all regions of Australia.
A recent independent review of Pastures Australia gave support for a body such as PA to provide general information on pastures that is scientifically based and up to date of which the Pasture Picker is a perfect example.
I will walk the audience through an example of using the Pasture Picker in my presentation.
For more info please contact Rural Industries R&D Corporation by visiting http://www.rirdc.gov.au/publications/forms/contact-us
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