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Lift wheat yields on-line

The West Australian

Wheat growers could benefit from a more productive season and better crop yields after the recent launch of a new online resource.

MyPaddock, a website by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, helps wheat growers during the growing season by tracking progress and loss through a traffic light system.

The website was designed on the back of a five-year research project, Focus Paddocks, which collected data from 184 paddocks across the State.

The key function of the online tool is to alert growers to production constraints, quantify the potential yield loss via a traffic light system and then direct them to the most up-to-date solution.

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The tool's development was led by senior research officer Darshan Sharma, who said MyPaddock would be a valuable tool for growers, consultants and agronomists.

"MyPaddock enables users to input their own data for individual paddocks, including management practices, pest and disease test results, soil acidity levels, soil nutrition, soil compaction and weeds," he said. "The tool then provides a four-colour traffic light warning on the risk corresponding to the potential yield loss, where red is a reduction of 25 per cent, orange 15-25 per cent, yellow 5-15 per cent and green less than 5 per cent.

"It also provides an overview of the critical intervals for the traffic light colour for each constraint, as well as links to further tools and background information."

Dr Sharma said the resource would have several benefits for wheat growers.

"The beauty of MyPaddock is that it can be used in several ways; as a paddock planning tool before the season begins, a paddock management tool during the growing season or a tool to review a paddock's performance," he said.

"It is well suited as a training tool as it is a convenient product that houses the critical limits for many production variables.

"It is also a useful way to identify knowledge gaps, where further research might (be needed)."

While MyPaddock has been developed for wheat growers, there are plans to expand the model.

To find it, search "mypaddock" on agric.wa.gov.au.

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