Visualising Australasia’s Soils
Associate Professor Peter Dahlhaus – Project Leader
Data is key to sustainable soil health and profitable agriculture. Following on from the scoping study, A review of indicators of soil health and function: farmers’ needs and data management, this project addresses the issue of large amounts of underutilised agricultural data.
The aim of the project is to provide Australasian farmers, agronomy practitioners, agricultural researchers and agribusinesses with relevant place-based information on demand. It will improve soil data availability and encourage the generation of new research ideas, collaborations and investment, both locally and globally.
The Visualising Australasia’s Soils interoperable spatial knowledge system provides the Soil CRC participants, and the broader agricultural industry in general with access to data, information and knowledge on Australasian soils. It includes a data stewardship and governance model for custodians to clearly set the rules under which access to their data, or parts therein, is possible. This will enhance decision making and generate new insights into the profitability and resilience of Australian agriculture.
This project leverages established technologies developed by the lead researchers to federate data from disparate sources in both the public and private sector to make agriculture data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR).
The initial focus has been on finding out what all the CRC participants want to gain from the project – to understand the value proposition. CRC participants have been engaged in the co-development of spatial visualisation, search, filtering and download tools. Education materials are being developed to support broader adoption by farmers and researchers. Longitudinal research will be undertaken to assess practice change and other project impacts.
Key to the success of this project is the governance and stewardship of the data. Data access controls and data tracking will be implemented to provide confidence and trust in the soils data federation.
Collaboratively designing the portal tools, models and visualisations with 15 CRC partners will ensure that the output is a useful, everyday support tool for all Soil CRC participants, and Australian farmers.
Federation University Australia
Landcare Research New Zealand
University of Tasmania
University of Southern Queensland
Birchip Cropping Group
Burdekin Productivity Services
Central West Farming Systems
Herbert Cane Productivity Services
Mackillop Farm Management Group
Mallee Sustainable Farming
North Central Catchment Management Authority
Southern Farming Systems
Wimmera Catchment Authority