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Field crop planting decision aid

A.M. Jamieson1, G.L. Hammer2 and H. Meinke2

1 Queensland Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 6014, Rockhampton Mail Centre QLD 4702
QDPI/CSIRO Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit, PO Box 102, Toowoomba QLD 4350

Grain producers in Central Queensland need to be well informed in order to manage their production risk effectively. This requires a detailed quantification of production risk and needs to take into account the impact of major environmental variables such as rainfall and temperature.

Field Crop Planting Decision Aid is a computer based decision support system under development in Central Queensland. It focuses mainly on the area of crop selection and exploitation of planting opportunities and is based on the output from crop simulation models for sunflower QSUN (1), sorghum QSORG (2), and wheat (3). These models were run with long term, daily climatic data to produce yearly yield estimates and probability distributions for various soil types and starting soil water conditions. Such information is currently available for Emerald, Biloela and Dalby.

Users are required to supply their own, site specific information on location, soil type, depth of wet soil, crops to be considered, growing and marketing costs and expected prices. Based on these inputs the system provides the user with probabilistic estimates of yield expectations and gross margins. The information is in interactive, graphical format, with explanatory notes on the graphs as well as additional information on request.

The system can be used to examine the yield and gross margin estimates for (i) a single crop at a particular planting opportunity, (ii) a crop planted now compared to the same or an alternative crop planted at some time in the future, and (iii) two competing crops planted at the same time. This information will assist extension staff and producers to assess their options planting opportunities occur outside conventional planting times or where alternative cropping strategies are being considered.


This project was funded by Wheat Research Committee for Queensland and RIRDC References

3. Chapman, S.C., Meinke, H. and Hammer, G.L. 1990. Proceedings: Climatic risk in crop production, International Symposium, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 40-41.

4. Hammer, G.L. and Muchow, R.C. 1991. In: Climatic Risk in Crop Production: Models and Management for the Semiarid Tropics and Subtropics. (Eds R.C. Muchow and J.A. Bellamy) (CAB International: Wallingford, United Kingdom). pp. 205-232.

5. Hammer, G.L., Woodruff, D.R. and Robinson J.B. 1987. Agricultural and Forestry Meteorology 41, 123-142.

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