Australian farmers are environmental stewards, owning, managing and caring for 61 per cent of Australia’s land mass.
They produce more than 90% of the country’s domestic food supply, contributing to a value of more than $60 billion a year.
Yet there is growing pressure on growers to produce more with less inputs, all while minimising their environmental impacts.
There is a gap, and in some cases a considerable gap, in the yields attained on farms and what is biologically possible.
This creates added pressure on growers to run viable businesses and also limit the environmental impact of their business operations – these pressures can be challenging, overwhelming and leave farmers feeling uncertain and as price takers, economically powerless.
The search for more efficient methods of farming is driving University of Southern Queensland (USQ) researchers to develop innovative decision support systems and apps that draw on the power of data, large scale modelling and cloud computing to help farmers and managers make better decisions when they are in the paddock and the office.
The USQ Agricultural Systems and Catchment Modelling Group conducts research to facilitate practice change on farm, by helping farmers make informed decisions that relate to their production practices, to improve their profitability and social and environmental sustainability.