A NEW crop modelling tool released by Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) is hoped to be able to assist cotton producers estimate potential yield throughout the growing season.
Nicknamed 'BARRY' (Biometric Agronomy for Realising Representative Yield), the tool provides a snapshot of metrics at the key growth stages of first flower, cut-out, flowering progression and end of season, taking into account region, climate, production type and variety.
BARRY has been developed in partnership with CSIRO, utilising the extensive agronomic database collected from CSD's Ambassador Network and Variety Trial programs and CSIRO's machine learning algorithms to estimate potential yield with reliable accuracy.
Last cotton season, CSD partnered with a number of growers to conduct field trial tests to evaluate the accuracy of the program.
One of those partners was Greg Kauter, on-farm cotton consultant with Cowal Agriculture in Central Queensland.
He said the data generated by BARRY gave a good look at what was ahead.
"BARRY's four yield prediction snapshots give us the ability to make better informed decisions at any time, if the crop looks to be underperforming throughout the critical periods of crop development," Mr Kauter said.
Stewart Brotherton, CSD Extension and Development Agronomist for Central Queensland said that BARRY can provide a better understanding of crop potential, allowing growers to make management decisions with confidence.
"BARRY takes into account the stage of the crop and the seasonal conditions in real time, providing valuable data for a grower or consultant to make management decisions, if required," Mr Brotherton said.
"For example, if the flowering progression snapshot suggests a lower yield prediction than the grower is aiming for, they can change their management of the crop to rectify or control the outcome.
"Alternatively, the first flower snapshot may show that the crop has good yield potential, giving the grower confidence in their decisions as the season progresses."
The technology behind BARRY also enables a grower or consultant to assess (in real time) the yield prediction for the practices they have implemented, and over time build data on the outcomes of various scenarios.
"BARRY will provide us with accurate information and real time yield predictions - not guesswork - to base decisions on, essentially providing another set of eyes in the field," said Mr Kauter.
BARRY is part of CSD's Digital Services Initiative, which develops decision support tools powered by an agronomic database, which are benchmarked and specific to the grower's region, farm and field.