On-farm experimentation

TractorHelping farmers tailor paddock-by-paddock management through on-farm experimentation and analytics

Digital agriculture is certainly a hot topic. A range of new data streams are becoming available but can they all be turned into actionable information that add value to farming operations?

What is the problem we were trying to solve?

While there are significant commercial developments around using this data for benchmarking and monitoring, there are surprisingly few systems that support on-farm analysis and planning. In particular, there is a lack of technology that integrates information sources across the whole-of-farm enterprise scale, with design, implementation and evaluation of farming plans.

Digiscape’s on-farm experimentation project aimed to address this opportunity.

What did we achieve?

We developed:

  • an On Farm Experimentation (OFE) app prototype with a human centred focus. The OFE app provides an in-silico sandbox for farmers and agri technologists to try different designs and to determine which design is likely to be implementable and provide a sound result
  • spatial maps that show areas in fields that consistently deliver high yield (or other attributes) and other parts that just aren’t as productive, which farmers can thus manage with targeted practices
  • novel approaches for management zone analysis (MZA) and prototype software for actionable farm-based decisions, in particular precision agriculture tools (PAT) enhancements (Ratcliff et al 2020).

How do I find out more?

Watch team members Ross Darnell and Martijn Mooij present some of the science behind the on-farm experimentation project.

‘Farmer-focussed on-farm experimentation app’ by Martijn Mooij and Ross Darnell (9:27 minutes)

Read the publications:

Ratcliff C, Gobbett D, Bramley R (2020) PAT – Precision Agriculture Tools. v3. (software collection). Available at: https://doi.org/10.25919/5f72d61b0bca9

Jin HD, Bakar KS, Henderson B, Bramley B, Gobbett D (2021) An efficient geostatistical analysis tool for on-farm experiments targeted at localised treatment. Biosystems Engineering 205, 121-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2021.02.009

Contact the team:

A man smiling at the camera
  • Ross is a research scientist with CSIRO's Data61 focusing on survey and experimental design and statistical modelling of environmental and agricultural systems. Ross leads Digiscape's on-farm experimentation project.

Martijn Mooij

  • Marty is a Senior User Experience Designer. The majority of his work is in agriculture with a strong focus on creating an environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural future for Australia.
Dr Rose Brodrick with an Arducrop water sensor
  • Rose leads Digiscape's WaterWise project. She develops new technologies and integrated digital systems for the agricultural industry to improve farm productivity.