Phil Moody: ‘Hi, I’m Phil Moody. I’m a Soil Principal Scientist with the Queensland Government, and I’m working with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on a decision support tool called SafeGauge for Nutrients.
I’d like to show you how SafeGauge for Nutrients can be used to give you an idea of where the nutrients might be moving off your farm. If they are moving off your farm it’s costing you money.
By spending a little bit of time on the computer with SafeGauge for Nutrients you’ll be able to get a good idea of what management practice decision you might undertake to reduce the loss of nutrients and save you money.’
Voice over (Phil Moody): ‘SafeGauge is a web-based decision support tool that helps you manage your fertiliser to make sure your crop has the best chance of taking up the nutrients it needs. This is a big deal for farm management and of course for the Great Barrier Reef catchment waterways.
Once you’ve worked out your crops nutrient requirements you can run SafeGauge to see what the potential risk there is of Nitrogen and Phosphorus and your hard earned cash that paid for it, moving off your block, the next time it rains.’
Phil Moody: ‘Before you run SafeGauge for a block there is a little bit of historical information that you need first to gather, so you can use the tool.’
Voice over (Phil Moody): ‘Starting with where your block is use google maps to pin point the location and the boundaries of the block. SafeGauge can then recognise the soil in the block and the local climate.
Know what your surface cover is.
Which soil group applies to the area?
The results of your latest soil test.
Any relevant cropping dates.
And finally, your fertiliser records.’
Phil Moody: ‘SafeGauge uses drop down menus to allow you to easily enter the information you need to run the decision support tool.
Voice over (Phil Moody): ‘You click on the arrow and you see what the options are for that particular box. To get a better description of each of those click the question mark and that gives you a full text description of each of those options.’
Phil Moody: ‘When you’ve entered all of the information on a particular block that you need to, to run SafeGauge, this is the look that you get. With dials at the top, and also a risk index and the rainfall. But what if I had another block that I was interested in, one that had a different soil type, perhaps a heavy clay; or a block that was a lot more sloping from the current block? It’s very easy to adjust SafeGauge to run with the new block and the new management details.
Jack Robertson: ‘Hi, my names’ Jack Robertson, I’m an extension officer with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in South Johnson, just south of Innisfail. You’ve just seen Phil show you have SafeGauge for Nutrients works; if you need more information keep your eye out for a Departmental workshop near you.
Remember, what happens here on the farm can affect the catchment right through to the reef.
So, put SafeGauge to work.