Visualising Australia’s Soils

Visualising Australia’s Soils –

Extending the soil data federation (VAS Phase 2)

Project Funder: Soil CRC – CRC for High Performance Soils Limited

Project Lead Organisation/Researcher: Federation University

Project Duration: 2023-2025

Project Code: 2.3.002

Background

Visualising Australia’s Soils (VAS) is a Soil CRC initiative funded project developed and led by the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia.

The project was designed in 2018, and the construction of a cloud-based soil research data federation with spatial mapping criteria marked the successful conclusion of its first phase (2018– 2021). The second phase of this project evolved in July 2021, participants in the Soil CRC and VAS teams will be able to completely exchange, access, and use data from different locations throughout Australia. Partners of this project include researchers and research organisations (Soil CRC partner universities and government research agencies), as well as all 22 of the farming system group partners in the Soil CRC. In this stage, CWFS will upload historical soil test data to the VAS portal.

 

Benefits of the VAS online portal

 

Access to spatial soil data
Farmers will benefit from the site-specific and depth-specific soil data that VAS will deliver. By logging into this portal, farmers can visualise, store, and retrieve soil data as well as other agricultural data such as paddock management records, yield maps, greenness (NDVI) maps etc more quickly.

Monitoring trends in soil properties over time
Farmers will be informed of the impacts of various farming techniques visually on a map. The temporally based geographic data will address questions like which parts of the farm are doing well, which ones require maintenance, and which ones ought to be used for something else. Concrete evidence on how particular agricultural practices have affected soil properties throughout time can be found by looking to the trends and practice-driven changes in soil properties. For example- some trends of changing soil conditions after application of lime in a paddock over time could be easily visualised.

Future research priorities
Farmers will also find the site helpful as a research and management tool, enabling them to examine the bigger picture and determine what requires more research. For example, although the 1km scale soil grid visualisation may be helpful for natural resource management planning, farmers would find it difficult to implement; nevertheless, VAS makes it possible. Then through strategic ground truthing, these problem areas can be confirmed and then managed effectively.

Reports & Media Releases

Partnership

This project is funded by the Soil CRC, led by Federation University, in partnership with the following groups –
Landcare Research New Zealand, Southern Cross University, University of Newcastle, AIR EP, Birchip Cropping Group, Burdekin Productivity Services, Central West Farming Systems, Corrigin Farm Improvement, Facey Group, FarmLink Research, The Gillamii Centre, Hart Field Site Group, Herbert Cane Productivity Services, Holbrook Landcare Network, Liebe Group, MacKillop Farm Management Group, Mallee Sustainable Farming, North Central CMA, Riverine Plains, Southern Farming Systems, Western Australian No Till Farmers Association, West Midlands Group, Wheatbelt NRM, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.