20 Jul 2015


A new resource for the grain industry

eXtensionAUS – a great new resource for the Australian grains industry
Expert grains information is on tap through the new online platform www.extensionaus.com.au.

The GRDC funded project has been launched and is enjoying rapid uptake as grain growers and advisers network in with the latest on field crop diseases and crop nutrition.
The project presents a significant development in making available information and expert advice for grain growers.

It has the potential to change the way Australian grain growers approach cropping issues by providing open access to leading industry experts.

Websites and social media tools have a natural advantage as an information service as they are available around the clock. Through eXtensionAUS people can engage with one another and access information at any time. It allows people to connect, have real conversations, explore issues in a personal way, have an influence over the information made available and to interact with tools that give great learning opportunities.

Growers can use the service to request information on specific crop nutrition and disease issues, with more than 100 leading researchers and agronomy experts all over Australia lending their knowledge to the eXtensionAUS platform and providing tailored responses and working together in new ways.

The platform is based on a system successfully implemented in the United States over the last decade, where technical experts can identify issues as they emerge in real-time and provide tailored advice to growers.

After securing agreement to a transfer of the technology to Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in partnership with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) have successfully piloted the approach over the last year.

The platform offers expert feedback on specific and topical challenges. There’s enormous scope for the grain growing community to better understand significant issues as they emerge, like beet western yellows virus last season and find solutions by working directly with experts.

More than ever before, farmers are able to access digital resources and communicate online. The central resource for growers is often their on-the-ground agronomist who can look in detail at particular cropping issues and find solutions for individual growers; but eXtensionAUS can provide that first step to getting a handle on key issues or what new practices could deliver benefits on-farm, that can then be followed up with advisers.

The project is a great example of how we can take innovative technology and initiatives from global grain-producers like the US, where there is a huge focus on effective extension, and shape those for Australian grain growers.
eXtensionAUS can be accessed at http://www.extensionaus.com.au/
and via twitter @AusCropDiseases and @AuCropNutrition

This project is supported by

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