IK Caldwell & Yield Prophet

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Yield Prophet is a web interface for the crop production model APSIM. It simulates crop growth based on paddock-specific inputs of soil type, pre-sowing soil water and nitrogen, rainfall, irrigation and nitrogen fertiliser applications, and climate data. Yield Prophet was developed by the Birchip Cropping Group in collaboration with CSIRO as a risk management tool for dry-land farming systems in the Victorian Wimmera and Mallee, with an emphasis on decision support for nitrogen fertiliser inputs

IK Caldwell managed a substantial amount of paddocks within the Yield Prophet program in 2006 across our Corowa, Cobram and Deniliquin branches. Results at the end of the season were quite accurate with 71% of all Yield Prophet predictions being within 0.5t of actual yield (nation wide).

How it works

Soil Sampling & Testing

During autumn, IK Caldwell will sample your nominated paddocks' soil at different depth intervals down to the maximum rooting depth of their crop (e.g. 0-10, 10-40, 40-70, 70-100 cm). These samples are analysed for water content, nitrate concentration, organic carbon, electrical conductivity, chloride concentration and pH. These results help to characterise the soil from your paddock. Paddocks in the program last year will only require nitrogen and water content to be tested for.

Soil Characterisation

An appropriately measured soil characterisation is an essential input for Yield Prophet® to simulate crop growth, yield and protein accurately. Yield Prophet has a ‘library' of soil characterisations measured for many of the major cropping soil types found within BCG's membership catchment and other regions Australia-wide. However, many subscribers have soil types for which there are no available measured characterisation data. In these circumstances, a soil characterisation is estimated by IK Caldwell based on soil type and previous rainfall and crop yields provided, and any information available from existing soil surveys.

Crop Growth Simulation

During the season, IK Caldwell enter your paddock management details (sowing date, crop type, variety, nitrogen fertiliser and irrigation) and rainfall.  This will allow IKC to generate a report s showing daily crop growth, water and nitrogen available to the crop, and the water and nitrogen demand of the crop.  Click here to see Cropping Report example.

Yield Prediction

Yields are plotted as a probability curve (below), which provides an estimate of the probabilities of obtaining different yields. This range of probabilities narrows as the season progresses and components of yield become more certain. Nitrogen and irrigation scenario reports can also be generated allowing you to see what the likely effect on yield different rates of nitrogen and water will have. Click here to see Irrigation Comparison example report.

Program Details

Included in the cost of the program is;

  • Soil sampling - 4 depths (done in March/April)
  • Soil testing - 4 tests  (accredited laboratory)
  • Generation of all reports, fortnightly (1st may to 15th December 2006)
  • Emailing and Agronomic Interpretation of reports   

Report Generation only:

If growers enter paddocks into Yield Prophet independently and find they need reports to be generated on their behalf, IKC offer this service. Pricing for this service will be calculated based on the time frame and frequency of running the reports.

This service is for report generation only. Soil sampling and testing will only be done for paddocks that are enrolled in the IKC program.