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Farming Forecaster showcased at recent workshops

Farming Forecaster, the innovative and powerful feed budgeting and stock management tool that has seen a growing popularity amongst the NSW farming community, is now available to Tasmanian graziers.

At well-attended recent workshops led by NRM South and NRM North, farmers were able to see this tool in action, thanks to the expertise of presenter Phil Graham.

Phil demonstrated how the tool can assist farmers and the livestock industry as a whole by providing a better insight into current growing conditions and future trends in pasture growth over the coming 3 to 4 months. This is achieved through a network of dryland soil moisture probes on-farm and pasture growth and livestock performance forecasts.

The team at NRM South and NRM North are optimistic about the benefits Farming Forecaster will bring to Tasmanian farmers in drought-prone areas.

Tim Ackroyd, NRM South’s Senior Project Officer for Agriculture, believes that Farming Forecaster can help take a level of risk out of farming decisions, giving the industry advice and confidence to plan ahead, particularly when heading into and out of a drought.

‘The two key pieces of information that drive the tool allow producers to understand how pastures will perform now and to plan for the season ahead in terms of what the likely supplementary feed requirements would be under a low-rainfall scenario. The tool can also help farmers take advantage of opportunities early in good seasons,’

‘It also delivers beneficial environmental outcomes as an effective ground cover management tool,’ said Tim.

The data from the tool can now help inform farmers stock management decisions on the east coast, and Fingal Valley and will soon be available for the midlands and North Bruny. The inclusion of a variety of terrain, soil and conditions, and pasture management will improve the information available to all farmers managing similar conditions across Tasmania.

More training events are planned for June and September on the east coast, Fingal Valley and the Midlands. There are also plans to expand the tool to other drought-prone areas of Tasmania in the coming months.

This Tasmanian pilot is part of a project funded under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and has been developed by NRM South in partnership with NRM North, the East Coast Primary Producers Association, the Upper Esk Landcare and Productivity Group, farmers in the Midlands and north Bruny, and the Tasmanian Government.

For more information on Farming Forecaster in Tasmania, visit: https://farmingforecaster.com.au

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