New platform predicts farm productivity

A new software platform, Ag360, has been launched by a University of New England (UNE) subsidiary, offering predictive capability  to producers anywhere.

Some aspects of Ag360 will be familiar to producers. The platform is an expanded version of ASKBILL, the application developed by the Sheep CRC. When the CRC finished its last cycle, the Centre’s intellectual property was bequeathed to UNE for future development.

Drawing on data from the Bureau of Meterology ACCESS S global weather forecasting model, the Ag360 platform can predict livestock and pasture performance up to six months ahead. The BoM data is customised by Ag360 to reflect conditions within five kilometres of any chosen point.

With this information, Ag360 can make paddock-specific forecasts for rainfall and soil moisture, pasture condition, sheep and cattle live- and carcass weight, condition score and fat cover, wool growth, and stressors like blowflies, worms and extreme weather.

The platform provides alerts via text or email if certain production targets are likely to fall out of selected parameters. Users can also enter farm management data, like grazing rotations, pasture biomass and animal health treatments, which serve as a management record and can be used to enhance the software’s future predictive capability.

“Ag360 is unique in its ability to simplify the complex relationship between weather, pasture and livestock performance to predict the future and reduce uncertainty,” said Ag360 Pty Ltd chief executive Steve Potts.

“It’s a unique and powerful tool to assist producers and land managers make more informed decisions that drives greater value and profit from their operations.”

ASKBILL subscribers will be invited to transition to the new and improved Ag360 platform. All other producers interested in harnessing the benefits of Ag360 can take advantage of a 21 day free trial at www.ag360.com.au. They will be supported if they adopt the platform.

Ag360 has the capacity to operate across a range of agricultural enterprises and distribute timely production information right along the supply chain. The company is eager to build on this capability.

With the right investors, Potts hopes to expand the new platform into new sectors, and ultimately, expand it into an international business.

“We are currently investigating opportunities to develop dairy and cropping functionality, ways of giving producers easy access to carbon markets, better linkages to supply chain participants and enabling access for agricultural service providers,” Potts said.