Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI

Kingaroy, Australia

Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI

Kingaroy, Australia
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Chauhan Y.S.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Wright G.C.,Peanut Company of Australia | Holzworth D.,CSIRO | Rachaputi R.C.N.,University of Queensland | Payero J.O.,University of Queensland
Irrigation Science | Year: 2013

Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an economically important legume crop in irrigated production areas of northern Australia. Although the potential pod yield of the crop in these areas is about 8 t ha-1, most growers generally obtain around 5 t ha-1, partly due to poor irrigation management. Better information and tools that are easy to use, accurate, and cost-effective are therefore needed to help local peanut growers improve irrigation management. This paper introduces a new web-based decision support system called AQUAMAN that was developed to assist Australian peanut growers schedule irrigations. It simulates the timing and depth of future irrigations by combining procedures from the food and agriculture organization (FAO) guidelines for irrigation scheduling (FAO-56) with those of the agricultural production systems simulator (APSIM) modeling framework. Here, we present a description of AQUAMAN and results of a series of activities (i. e., extension activities, case studies, and a survey) that were conducted to assess its level of acceptance among Australian peanut growers, obtain feedback for future improvements, and evaluate its performance. Application of the tool for scheduling irrigations of commercial peanut farms since its release in 2004-2005 has shown good acceptance by local peanuts growers and potential for significantly improving yield. Limited comparison with the farmer practice of matching the pan evaporation demand during rain-free periods in 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 suggested that AQUAMAN enabled irrigation water savings of up to 50% and the realization of enhanced water and irrigation use efficiencies. © 2011 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia as represented by The Government of Queensland.

Chauhan Y.S.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Wright G.C.,Peanut Company of Australia | Rachaputi R.C.N.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Holzworth D.,CSIRO | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2010

When exposed to hot (22-35C) and dry climatic conditions in the field during the final 4-6 weeks of pod filling, peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) can accumulate highly carcinogenic and immuno-suppressing aflatoxins. Forecasting of the risk posed by these conditions can assist in minimizing pre-harvest contamination. A model was therefore developed as part of the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) peanut module, which calculated an aflatoxin risk index (ARI) using four temperature response functions when fractional available soil water was <0.20 and the crop was in the last 040 of the pod-filling phase. ARI explained 095 (P≤0.05) of the variation in aflatoxin contamination, which varied from 0 to c. 800 g/kg in 17 large-scale sowings in tropical and four sowings in sub-tropical environments carried out in Australia between 13 November and 16 December 2007. ARI also explained 096 (P≤0.01) of the variation in the proportion of aflatoxin-contaminated loads (>15 μg/kg) of peanuts in the Kingaroy region of Australia during the period between the 1998/99 and 2007/08 seasons. Simulation of ARI using historical climatic data from 1890 to 2007 indicated a three-fold increase in its value since 1980 compared to the entire previous period. The increase was associated with increases in ambient temperature and decreases in rainfall. To facilitate routine monitoring of aflatoxin risk by growers in near real time, a web interface of the model was also developed. The ARI predicted using this interface for eight growers correlated significantly with the level of contamination in crops (r=0.95, P≤0.01). These results suggest that ARI simulated by the model is a reliable indicator of aflatoxin contamination that can be used in aflatoxin research as well as a decision-support tool to monitor pre-harvest aflatoxin risk in peanuts. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Olley R.,University of Otago | Young R.G.,Cawthron Institute | Closs G.P.,University of Otago | Kristensen E.A.,University of Aarhus | And 4 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2011

This study examined whether element:Ca ratios within the otoliths of juvenile brown trout could provide accurate trace element signatures for specific natal tributaries, and attempted to match these to trace element natal signatures found within the otoliths of adult trout caught in the main stem rivers of the same catchment. The trace element signatures of juvenile trout otoliths were analysed from a sample of eight tributaries representing the main sub-catchments of the Motueka River catchment, New Zealand. Trace element signatures were determined using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and differentiated using linear discriminant function analysis with an overall cross-validated classification success of 96.8%. Temporal stability in element:Ca ratios was investigated by repeat collections of juvenile fish over two years. Natal signatures from 11 of 23 adult trout sampled from the catchment main stems were matched to one of the eight tributary signatures showing recruitment sources to be spread relatively evenly throughout the catchment. This study demonstrates the potential of using otolith trace element analysis to determine the natal origins of freshwater fish within a catchment. © 2011 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Young A.J.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Marney T.S.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Herrington M.,Maroochy Research Station | Hutton D.,Maroochy Research Station | And 4 more authors.
Australasian Plant Pathology | Year: 2011

Strawberry (Fragaria (×) ananassa) plants exhibiting leaf lesions consistent with angular leaf spot (ALS, caused by Xanthomonas fragariae Kennedy and King 1962) were identified in the Queensland strawberry germplasm at Bundeberg in May 2010. Water suspensions of bacterial ooze tested positive using a previously described primer set. However, the slow growth rate of X. fragariae and the presence of a fast-growing, nonpathogenic, undescribed Xanthomonas species presented problems that were overcome by dilution plating and DNA sequence analysis. Sequencing of the gyrB locus of putative colonies of X. fragariae indicated 100% sequence similarity to other X. fragariae isolates. A new set of diagnostic primers for X. fragariae based on the gyrB locus is presented. © Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2011.

Power B.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Rodriguez D.,University of Queensland | deVoil P.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Harris G.,Economic Development and Innovation DEEDI | Payero J.,University of Queensland
Field Crops Research | Year: 2011

We present a participatory modelling framework that integrates information from interviews and discussions with farmers and consultants, with dynamic bio-economic models to answer complex questions on the allocation of limited resources at the farm business level. Interviews and discussions with farmers were used to: describe the farm business; identify relevant research questions; identify potential solutions; and discuss and learn from the whole-farm simulations. The simulations are done using a whole-farm, multi-field configuration of APSIM (APSFarm). APSFarm results were validated against farmers' experience. Once the model was accepted by the participating farmers as a fair representation of their farm business, the model was used to explore changes in the tactical or strategic management of the farm and results were then discussed to identify feasible options for improvement.Here we describe the modelling framework and present an example of the application of integrative whole farm system tools to answer relevant questions from an irrigated farm business case study near Dalby (151.27E - 27.17S), Queensland, Australia. Results indicated that even though cotton crops generates more farm income per hectare a more diversified rotation with less cotton would be relatively more profitable, with no increase in risk, as a more cotton dominated traditional rotation. Results are discussed in terms of the benefits and constraints from developing and applying more integrative approaches to represent farm businesses and their management in participatory research projects with the aim of designing more profitable and sustainable irrigated farming systems. © 2011.

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