Project vision: To build the digital infrastructure necessary for the Australian grains industry to map, monitor, manage and forecast production across vast areas of our continent.
Grain production is closely tied to climate and is one of the most volatile industries in Australia, making planning and managing a huge challenge.
Unfortunately, the current information base is limited. Planning for harvest, transport, storage and marketing is based on historical records supplemented by subjective assessment of current crop conditions. There is no comprehensive national system for quantifying and geo-locating crop area, and the size of the national grain crop area and expected yield is never known with required accuracy at a locally relevant scale.
Nevertheless, there is some uptake of decision tools such as Yield Prophet® and iPaddock, showing that there is appetite for services that supply data, provided the output is of value and packaged in a user-friendly manner.
Each actor along the grains supply chain has a unique need for customised grains information, which could be met with a comprehensive grains production and forecasting information system. It needs to provide up-to-date estimates of crop area, near real-time measures of crop yield, crop yield forecasts, and estimates of uncertainty for the entire agriculture value chain.
This is where Digiscape comes in. With CSIRO’s expertise in grain forecasting, climate, remote sensing, data management, software engineering, social innovation and more, we’ve now built a real-time grain forecast platform for Australia: Graincast. It will open up greater informed decision-making, such as:
In the future, Graincast forecast system will also open up the capability for new decisions, such as:
The Graincast project is led by Dr Roger Lawes.