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Whopper Cropper - a data base and graphics interface to connect crop management advisors with the simulation capacity of APSIM

Hammer, G.L. Dr; ph: (07) 4688 1200; fax: (07) 4688 1193; mailto:HammerG@prose.dpi.qld.gov.au

Research organisation: APSRU/QCCA, PO Box 102, Toowoomba Qld 4350.

Sponsor: APSRU/QCCA, Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit/Queensland Centre for Climate Applications

Aims:

1. to produce a state-of-the-art software tool for public and private crop management advisers that presents results of APSIM simulations of crop management decision options for key crops in NE Australia grain-cotton systems in a graphical form suitable for their use in interacting with clients;

2. to include effects of seasonal climate forecasting on crop management decisions to facilitate its use in QCCA Managing Climate Variability workshops.

Methodology:

Whopper Cropper is a database of pre-run APSIM simulations for management options for major crops, designed to give users much of the modelling power associated with single crops embodied in APSIM without the complexity of calibrating and running APSIM itself. It will enable users to compare crops and the effects of alternative crop management strategies on yield and soil water and nitrogen conditions, and to assess the potential use of climate forecasting to refine crop choice and management. Whopper Cropper is a dynamic data management system rather than a static model, and is not intended to be a narrowly focused decision support system. The graphical interface with the database is designed to meet adviser needs and can be readily adapted to new applications and modified for different user groups. A key development will be an economics module for both Whopper Cropper and APSIM, that will facilitate economic analyses of risk, particular the economic risk associated with the effect of climate variability on crop yields. A prototype version of Whopper Cropper for sorghum, cotton, and mungbean yield is being developed in 1998. Simulations for wheat, barley and chickpea will be added by autumn 1999 and distributed to test users.

Progress:

A focus group of key stakeholders has been formed to discuss and advise on the development and implementation of the project. The call by advisers to revitalise and greatly enhance earlier versions of Whopper Cropper has coincided with the establishment of the Queensland Centre for Climate Applications, a Queensland Government initiative recognising the need to strategically manage climate risk in farming systems.

A prototype version of Whopper Cropper for sorghum, cotton and mungbean yield is being developed.

Period: starting date 1998-06; completion date: ongoing

Status: ongoing

Keywords: sorghum, cotton, mungbean, wheat, barley, chickpea, climatic risk

Publications: None as yet

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