eXtensionAUS connects paddock to lab

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An online learning network is connecting Australian grain growers and advisers to the latest crop nutrition and field crop disease information and advice, when and where they need it. eXtensionAUS, a GRDC project being delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Agriculture Victoria, began in early 2014 with the formation of the two communities of practice (CoP) that bring together Australia’s leading experts in crop nutrition and field crop diseases. So far 124 experts have joined the two communities of practice from the public and private sector.

From the CoP come a national online source of evidence-based information delivered through a platform that provides a place for experts, growers and advisers to interact. The website went live in June 2014 and has been visited by 15,290 people, with 56,043 pages of information viewed. Combined with more than 3000 Twitter followers, it is using online tools to reach people and link them to the latest information and research.

Information exchange

The online world is a crowded place and it can be hard to find reliable and up-to-date information. This is where eXtensionAUS Crop Nutrition comes in. Backed by Australia’s leading experts, advisers and growers can rely on the information it publishes and know that it is current and based on the latest research. It also pulls together information from various sources and delivers it in one spot, cutting down search time.

published on a topic relevant to seasonal conditions and the stage of the season, linking to any new research. The most popular articles so far this year are: ‘Can I burn lime and gypsum with stubble?’; ‘Give seeds the best chance by avoiding fertiliser damage’; ‘N-rich strips show if your crop needs a boost this season’; and ‘Potassium and crop stress’.

With material delivered through channels including the website, Twitter, YouTube and the ‘ask an expert’ tool, eXtensionAUS complements existing knowledge and information-gathering systems and acts as an extension of current advice channels. Work has begun on eLearning packages on topics identified as areas of need by the CoP.

The eXtensionAUS platform provides direct access to crop nutrition experts via the ‘ask an expert’ tool, where a question can be posed directly to the crop nutrition experts.

eXtensionAUS Crop Nutrition is closely linked to the More Profit from Crop Nutrition Program (MPCN II) and the Making Better Fertiliser Decisions for Cropping Systems in Australia project. These projects contain crop nutrition research and access to the best verified trial information on most nutrients by location in Australia. Through this linkage eXtensionAUS is able to make this information accessible to growers and advisers as it becomes available.

More information:

eXtensionAUS

@AuCropNutrition (Twitter);

Fleur Muller, NSW DPI,
fleur.muller@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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