NQ Dry Tropics streamlining Paddock to Reef efficiencies

NQ Dry Tropics has streamlined its project management and Paddock to Reef data, adopting Esri technology to complement its current web-based software applications to manage natural resource management projects.

The Esri Collector App enables field staff and NQ Dry Tropics’ delivery partners to improve data capture and management workflows which helps build detailed information to make informed decisions.

The App is being used by Reef Water Quality Grants as part of the Reef Trust: Reef Alliance Program – Growing a Great Barrier Reef.  This program supports innovative practices on cane farms that will improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

NQ Dry Tropics Paddock to Reef project officer Jade Fraser said the Collector App allowed field officers to collect, maintain and analyse all P2R data in one centralised system.

“As an organisation we’re always looking to improve and integrate our systems and processes,” Mr Fraser said.

“We review our systems every six months and listen to feedback from our delivery partners, and adjust and modify accordingly,” he said.

The app captures valuable Paddock to Reef data for the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (Reef 2050 WQIP) that covers catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, including the Burdekin Dry Tropics.

“The Reef Plan is a large and complex program covering multiple catchments, multiple industries, accessing different funding sources and applying different approaches to foster the uptake of best practice on agricultural land,” Mr Fraser said.

“Paddock to Reef has evolved over time to meet the need for a consistent practical method to describe and measure change over such a diverse program.

“Water quality risk frameworks have been developed for each industry, including the cane industry that identifies which practices are the most important to water quality.

“Collector App and EnQuire ensures we have a consistent and practical method of describing and measuring change on-ground.

“This makes it possible to identify region-specific issues for targeting adoption investments, quantify impact and the progress over time, and compare different types of practice change activities and their effectiveness in addressing a specific adoption issue.

“An important benefit is that it also analyses and predicts threats to farm productivity and efficiency before they can occur.

“Our goal is to  decrease the impact of agriculture on the water, soil and biodiversity assets of the Great Barrier Reef catchments, while maintaining, and where possible enhancing, profitability and productivity, for growers,” he said.

Funded jointly by the Australian and Queensland governments, the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting program (Paddock to Reef program) is a innovative approach to collecting and integrating data and information on agricultural management practices, catchment indicators, catchment loads and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Main photo:  NQ Dry Tropics Paddock to Reef project officer Jade Fraser.