There’s a lot you can do with 40 weather and plant measurements. Discover how the Mark 2 creates data-driven decisions for our users.

Safer Grazing and Preserving Crop Quality

Chris Walsh, Agronomist, Elders Ballarat

“I’m interested in how the NDVI readings and frost alerts can be used to support grazing safety. On low solar radiation days, there is risk that stock can suffer nitrate poisoning. The Mark 2 NDVI readings give us visibility on when that risk is likely. Likewise, being able to set frost alerts can warn me when to move vulnerable stock like young lambs.

“Relying on the local weather station for frost events isn’t enough, particularly when it comes to cutting grain. Frosts can really take the quality out of a hay crop, but you won’t know the extent of the damage until 10 to 14 days after the event. But if your Mark 2 records a really heavy frost, then you know the damage will be bad and you can choose to cut early, preserving hay quality. No point cutting early if the event was not bad. The Mark can give you that data accuracy to help you make those management decisions.”

photo credit: Chris Walsh
Modelling Crop Performance Against Environmental Stressors

Daniel Smith, The University of Queensland
photo credit: Daniel Smith

Dan is using Mark 2 units in his Ph.D trials to link environmental data with crop performance, ultimately developing a model that will help predict how different crop varieties will perform under different environmental conditions.

“We always use these really complicated products that are buggy and take a lot of trouble shooting. So it’s nice to use something that just works. I really appreciate that.”

Arable Mark 2s were selected as a research tool because of their ability to measure a range of variables.

“The fact that you can use the Mark 2 to tie in the physical and biochemical status of your crop and at the same time link that with the weather and environmental variables, I think that can be a really powerful tool to use in terms of characterising crop growth.”

It Pays To Go Local

Greg Teske, Agronomist, Elders Gatton

“The first question growers asked me about the Mark 2 was “Do we need power?”. Being solar powered was a real winner, straight up. With a solar panel, growers can set it up completely remotely. They loved that. The second thing they loved is that they can shift it. It’s not confined or bolted down to a particular property. They loved that flexibility.”

“The growers I advise have farms spread across different valleys. You go from one farm to the next and the climate differs. The information you get from the closest weather station can be completely different to what you get out here in Gatton, Tent Hill, Mt Sylvia, Laidley or up the Brisbane Valley. And that difference has a number of different impacts. That’s why growers are really keen to look at this machine; it can give them exactly the conditions on their farm.”

“The crop sensing technology is particularly valuable for growers whose operations are really spread out. Some growers have fields an hour’s drive away. With the Mark 2, they can look up on the app and save themselves a drive, or indeed make that decision to drive there and take action, if they can see the crop is stressing.”
To view a full profile, click here.

photo credit: Greg Teske

Striking the Water Balance: Evapotranspiration for Irrigation Scheduling

Tony Hoare, Viticulturalist, Beach Road Wines
photo credit: D3Ag

“The evapotranspiration calculation from Arable is fantastic for being able to work out what the plants are using and then be able to apply the right amount of water to keep the vines in a situation where they’re not suffering stress and we’re not compromising our yield and fruit quality. For a lot of growers where water and power are so expensive, being able to have that information and being able to maximise water use efficiency is a really important thing at the moment.”

“Throw away your rain gauge, this is all automated now! The Mark 2 allows you to passively capture weather information without having to go out and empty a rain gauge. It captures and stores the full season’s data which I can pull up and use to do a post-season analysis. Looking back at the data, I can see if there are management changes I could make based on how the plants have responded to the weather. Likewise, I can then do a cost benefit analysis on those changes at the end of next season.”

A Research Tool That Packs A Punch

AgXtra, Applied Research Specialists

“Where research trials range in length from 3 months to 2 years, having a device that can be moved from one trial to the next and deployed in a matter of minutes, without the need for specialist equipment or know-how is a key feature for us. The capital outlay is quickly spread across projects and clients, offering a full return on investment within a year of purchase.”

“The Mark 2 allows us to enter a crop start date and with built-in algorithms, it measures GDD unique to that crop, reporting through the dashboard when certain growth stages of that crop are due. For research purposes, this gives us visibility on when to apply different treatments or make measurements at those critical growth stages.”
To view a full profile, click here.

photo credit: D3Ag