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New tool for drought resilience in horticulture

News

A Drought Resilience Self Assessment Tool (DR.SAT) is has been developed for agriculture and is being expanded into horticulture. Funded through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and the Future Drought Fund, the online tool aims give farmers more options to thrive despite drought, other external shocks, and a variable climate.

The current tool is available online here.

How does it work?

The self-assessment tool covers environmental, financial, and personal and social resilience of a farm business. The tool is tailored to both the specific region and commodity.

Users can access comparative satellite images of historic and current condition, as well as comparative NVDI data, and soil moisture, all updated roughly every six days. Farmers can also see climate projections which are specific for their property, which can be adjusted to view monthly or seasonal information.

Based on their unique profile, the tool will suggest next steps to build resilience.

How can it help?

Using the self-assessment tool, growers can not only judge the resilience of their farm business in a holistic way, they can also receive recommended activities and ‘pathways’ tailored to their areas for improvement.

The data can also be used as a decision aid tool. The information can be compared over time, to assess how their farm is doing, how the landscape has changed based on historic climate/landscape data, and how it would change in certain future climate projections.

Users can download the reports to take to agronomists or advisers to get more comprehensive guidance for their farm.

What can you do?

The first release of the horticulture tool for apples, pears, and summer fruits will initially be targeted to Victorian and Tasmanian growing regions.

The DR.SAT team is looking to engage with growers in these regions who are interested in user testing and providing feedback on the self-assessment questions, pathways, and activities over the next few months.

If you would like to be a part of these sessions, please email help@drsat.com.au or call Illyria from the DR.SAT team on +61 396 718 149.

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