Cane Farming
Cane Farming

CSIRO to launch rain app for cane farmers

CANE farmers are being equipped with a new smartphone app to help them reduce fertiliser run-off entering the Great Barrier Reef.

CSIRO is expected to today launch its "1622" app, which shows the concentration of nitrogen in Far Northern waterways in real time.

The app's numeric name is derived from the height in metres of Queensland's tallest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere, near Babinda.

Screenshot from CSIRO's app developed for cane farmers, called 1622
Screenshot from CSIRO's app developed for cane farmers, called 1622

Data displayed on the app shows nitrogen concentrations on sensors deployed in several waterways along the Far Northern coast. It also shows rainfall, so farmers can identify how weather is affecting local water quality.

CSIRO project leader Dr Peter Thorburn said the app was designed to meet farmers' needs.

"Although an app can appear simple, the smarts behind it are anything but," he said.

CSIRO’s new app will allow farmers to see the impact of their farm management on the environment. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.
CSIRO’s new app will allow farmers to see the impact of their farm management on the environment. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.

"The chain of information between the water quality sensors in local waterways and what you see on your phone is complex and requires substantial innovation along the way."

Canegrowers Cairns region chairman Stephen Calcagno said the app was a great tool for farmers to see the impact of their farm management on the environment.