LEADING climate analytics will combine with a regional Australia weather network to help growers identify and manage onfarm climate risks.
Skip is a collaboration between leading seed supplier Pacific Seeds, Californian climate and data science start-up ClimateAi and Goondiwindi-based AgTech company Goanna Ag.
Pacific Seeds marketing manager Andrew Short said with the Skip platform, growers could look at farm-specific, short-term and season-ahead weather forecasts and in an industry first, could also add customised crop alerts to assist with their onfarm decisions.
"Growers will be able to drop a pin on their location to produce farm-specific forecasts, triggered alerts and decision-making tool outputs,'' Mr Short said.
"Multiple locations for different fields or farms can also be marked delivering tailored data for each location.
"The Skip platform can also assist seasonal decision-making by giving growers and agronomists the ability to run simulations of various planting times checking for potential seasonal impacts before putting seed in the ground and helping to tweak crop management before it is too late in the season."
ClimateAi sources its analytics data from a wide range of public and private platforms and combines this with agronomics and machine learning to deliver what it believes is a superior forecasting model.
ClimateAi's head of product and growth Anthony Atlas said the platform linked a weather and climate forecast to actionable insights for growers.
"It starts with a best-in-class forecast, using artificial intelligence to improve accuracy and extend the range of the forecast across days, weeks and months," Mr Atlas said.
"We then layer on an easy-to-use interface that helps you navigate challenging weather events, like a heat wave during flowering.
"ClimateAi takes a machine-learning approach to forecasting - a breakthrough, new way to predict weather, compared to conventional models.
"Using selected Goanna Ag weather stations across Australia to feed information into ClimateAi's models will add even greater field-based data to the model and continue to improve the reliability and accuracy of predictions.
"This will allow growers to not only use their Goanna Ag weather station as a means of looking at current and past observations, but also to generate a forecast specific to their station."
Goanna Ag chief executive officer Alicia Garden said they were thrilled to be supporting Pacific Seed's establishment of a new weather and climate forecast network.
"We've always held a strong belief that site-specific weather observations were needed to drive high accuracy short and longer-term weather forecasts," Ms Garden said.
"Our weather stations capture important parameters such as solar radiation that can greatly improve crop forecast models and its fantastic to see this data feeding tangible on-farm decision making tools for producers."
The Pacific Seeds relationship with ClimateAi began when exploring how climate change might affect Australia's grain production regions over the next 10, 20 and 30 years and the potential shifts needed in areas such as breeding, testing and regional seed production operations.
"From the time we create a new variety, it can take seven to 10 years to bring it to market, essentially the crosses we make today need to result in a product which will thrive in Australian growing conditions in 2030," Mr Short said.
"The more information we have the better we can identify what type of attributes will be needed by products in the future, where can we test now which might already display these future environmental characteristics and if our current seed production locations will still be viable in the future.
"As part of this initial project we also started to look at ClimateAi's weather forecasting on a day-to-day basis to assist with our seed production operations and thought there is something here which we should be making more widely available."
Mr Atlas said ClimateAi was excited to see seasonal forecasts and alerts being leveraged to assist with farm management and they looked forward to adding further functionality to the platform into the future.
The Skip platform is due to launch in spring with growers, agronomists and wider industry encouraged to pre-register their interest to take part.
- More information: go to pacificseeds.com.au/skip