Case Study – The Value of Base Mapping Data

    Agtrix has made it easy for organisations to map and collect base data about farms, paddocks and crops.   While this is useful as a communication tool with the growers, the real value of the system is the data that it produces.

    The solution uses a sophisticated Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping system, but is customized so that relatively untrained staff can easily and accurately map and record the attributes of every crop and paddock.

    The technology was originally developed for the Australian sugar industry and has been used since 1995 to help cane inspectors record cane assignments and produce quality maps of each farm.

    Today, Agtrix services more than 85 percent of Australia’s sugar industry. The mapping software, AgDat Mapping, is now just one element of an integrated system developed by Agtrix to:

    • Capture base data about farms, paddocks and crops
    • Manage harvesting
    • Record inputs, tests surveys and recommendations.

    Agtrix Director Robert Crossley said the value of accurate data and quality maps could not be underestimated.

    “The data we can collect with AgDat Mapping is vital for processors and harvesters to keep track of estimates of how much crop is left to harvest.  But it can be used for all sorts of needs, from optimising the supply chain operations to forward pricing.”

    “The Australian agricultural sector is realising that accurate data and maps can save everyone time, money and resources.”

    Mr Crossley said accurate mapping had enabled the Australian sugar industry to effectively manage a smut outbreak in 2007.  Thanks to the data that was already available, the industry was generally able to pinpoint the location of all susceptible varieties on a map in minutes, and get survey teams on the job straight away,” he said.

    “I compare this with north Queensland’s 1995 papaya fruit fly outbreak. It was months before anyone knew the locations of all the commercially planted trees that could host the fly, and this compromised the baiting program.”

    Mr Crossley said AgDat Mapping was also being used by various agencies to produce land and water management plans for their growers.

    “We built a simple application that enables organisations to automatically generate maps that meet Queensland Government requirements for their growers” Mr Crossley said.

    The base data was used to generate more than 18,000 maps for 3000 growers for land and water management plans over about a year.

    Another example is where a natural disaster like flood or fire affects a defined area.  The spatial capabilities of the software allows you to quickly calculate the area that was affected and the potential losses.

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