1622™WQ app wet season review: how did it go?  

May 7th, 2020

A map and graphs showing nitrogen concentration in the Mulgrave River in May 2020

1622 app showing nitrogen concentration in the Mulgrave River in May 2020

1622 app showing nitrogen concentration in the Mulgrave River in May 2020

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 progressedFor 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.   

So what?  

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. 

Sugarcane growers and the public can access the app at www.1622.farmFor more information on 1622™WQ, see the article in ECOS. Follow us on Twitter using #1622app.