Soil moisture program improved

Quicker, and easier, access to Speedos

Cropping
MONITORING IMPROVEMENTS: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes says the improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring system will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth.

MONITORING IMPROVEMENTS: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes says the improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring system will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth.

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New tools added to Soil Moisture Monitoring program.

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The Victorian government has announced improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring Program, as part of its support for farm businesses impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions.

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said changes to the Soil Moisture Monitoring program would mean easier, and quicker, access to information.

The improved search function will allow farmers to distinguish between crop types being monitored, pasture and soil types and locations - all which influence soil moisture data.

"For almost a decade the Soil Moisture Monitoring program has been providing soil water content data to farmers using probes located around the state," Ms Symes said.

"This improvement will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth by helping farmers better measure what's going on underneath the surface."

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Until now, the data had been only available via a monthly e-newsletter subscription or by using a verified login.

These tools include a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one to three-month rainfall outlook for Victoria.

A new website replaces the previous soil moisture data dashboard with a detailed page dedicated to each of the 36 soil moisture monitoring sites across the state.

New tools featured on the website can translate soil moisture data into meaningful, real time, local information

"My favourite tool is the 'speedo' graph showing change in overall soil moisture at a particular site," Agriculture Victoria seasonal risk agronomist, and project co-ordinator, Dale Boyd said.

"It's a simple way to represent how the soil moisture profile has changed over the last year, in other words how full the 'tank' is."

Mr Boyd said the new website would be the subject of a webinar, on Wednesday, June 17, at noon.

The overall soil moisture 'speedo' tool was just one of the innovative features of the website that would be explored, during the 'walk-through webinar', he said.

"Previously, we could only show soil moisture data, without any real interpretation," Mr Boyd said.

"The new website takes this data and adds value to it, with tools that are easy to use such as a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one to three-month rainfall outlook for the state.

The webinar will be recorded and made available on the Agriculture Victoria website.

For more information about Agriculture Victoria's soil probe network and the new Soil Moisture Monitoring website, email soil.moisture@agriculture.vic.gov.au or contact Dale Boyd on dale.boyd@agriculture.vic.gov.au.

To register for the webinar, click here: https://bit.ly/2yIg9FH the Soil Moisture Monitoring website can be found at: agriculture.vic.gov.au/soilmoisturemonitoring

For more information on Drought and Dry Seasonal Conditions support and services visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons or call 136 186.

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