Opticane: an irrigation and weather support tool

Sexton, J., Melville, B., Schepen, A., Philippa, B., Attard, S., Davis, M., and Everingham, Y. (2022) Opticane: an irrigation and weather support tool. In: Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (43) pp. 113-121. From: ASSCT 2022: 43rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 18-22 April 2022, Mackay, QLD, Australia.

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Whether it is to manage resources during drought or simply to improve productivity, irrigation management is an important part of many sugarcane-growing regions in Australia. Many irrigation decision-support tools (DSTs) have been developed in the past with varying levels of success. Opticane (www.opticane.net) was developed as an Internet of Things tool that integrated current weather data, locally relevant weather forecasts and a crop model to produce weather and irrigation requirement forecasts for use in irrigation management decisions. In contrast to many DSTs, a major focus of Opticane's development has been the focus on the user experience. This paper overviews the insights and lessons learnt from the project development. By highlighting the features available to users, we hope to encourage growers to investigate irrigation DSTs. By overviewing the development process, we hope to encourage researchers to explore the possibilities of interactive web development to engage industry partners with research outputs. Consultation with industry partners has led to the expansion of Opticane beyond irrigation advice, to include rule-of-thumb advice for a range of management 'tasks' such as spraying and burning. The number of visitors to the Opticane site has continued to increase over the life of the project. The majority of visits have used the current conditions and weather forecasts tools, but few have engaged with the irrigation advice, suggesting further work is needed in this area. Preliminary feedback suggests users largely like the Opticane user interface, particularly for exploring data from weather stations. We recommend researchers and industry partners consider interactive web apps as a way of engaging with users. Effectively disseminating advice and findings in a scalable and easy to access format will improve the uptake of advice that can lead to improved industry sustainability.

Item ID: 76547
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 9781713859215
Keywords: app, decision support tool, Irrigation, irrigation scheduling, sugarcane, weather forecast
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Copyright Information: © Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2023 02:52
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300410 Crop and pasture waste water use @ 100%
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