1622™WQ app wet season review: how did it go?
In a world first, sugarcane farmers in far north Queensland have been using a new web app, available at www.1622.farm, part of a suite of tools helping them manage fertiliser use and in turn reducing nitrogen runoff onto the Great Barrier Reef. 1622™WQ displays data in real time from nitrate sensors in local waterways. It was used for the first time over the recent wet season and was accessed nearly 2000 times since its official launch in Cairns in January.
What was the app able to show?
We showed clear patterns in nitrogen concentrations in selected local waterways, including the Mulgrave, Johnstone and Tully Rivers. 1622™WQ showed the differences between the different waterways and how they changed as the wet season progressed. For example, nitrogen concentrations in the Tully River in the rainforest were much lower than at the mouth of the river. The app also highlighted how nitrogen concentrations changed in response to rainfall. In the Mulgrave River, rainfall events ‘flushed’ nitrogen into the river at the start of the wet season, but the nitrogen had been exhausted by the end of the wet season.
The water quality information in 1622™WQ is shown in real time – an innovation that has never been available before. It means that sugarcane growers now have a tool they can use to better understand fertiliser loss from their properties with a view to helping them manage their crops’ fertiliser application decisions.
What‘s next for 1622™WQ?
We’re working with other water quality programs to expand the number of sensors connected to the app for better coverage of waterways. We’re also continuing innovative ways of providing information on rainfall throughout the season in the wet tropics of northern Australia.