Yield Prophet® is a simplified web interface for the crop production model APSIM. It is a subscription service that is delivered to growers and farm consultants Australia wide. Yield Prophet provides dry land and irrigation grain growers with up-to-the-minute, real-time information about their wheat and barley crops during growth, and the likely impact of management events on crop yield and quality. Its primary output is a forecast of yield probabilities based on the simulation of crop production from presowing until harvest.

Yield Prophet stems from a collaboration between CSIRO’s  FARMSCAPE team and the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), a non-government, not-for- profit farmer-based research and extension organisation) to implement model-based decision support to Australian farmers. The collaboration started in 2001 when BCG became interested in exploring the use of simulation as a tool to extrapolate the results of their farming systems’ field experiments to real-life farms in a wider range of seasonal conditions and to other locations and soil types. In addition to an interest in the project proposed by BCG, the FARMSCAPE team was keen to explore with BCG ways of delivering the potential benefit of their tools to a larger number of farmers in a commercially sustainable manner. The collaboration started in 2001 with an invitation from BCG to the FARMSCAPE team to simulate their cropping systems’ field experiments and, over several years, evolved into the development of an innovative internet service for monitoring and simulating crop paddocks. The motivation of both groups was to reduce farmer uncertainty about their crop management environment and to enable them to assess the possible effects of alternative management practices. The systems thinking that evolved through our FARMSCAPE experience (Publ. 141 PDF ) provided the theoretical framework for this investigation.

Hochman, Z., van Rees, H., Carberry, P.S., Hunt, J.R., McCown, R.L., Gartmann, A., Holzworth, D., van Rees, S., Dalgliesh, N.P., Long, W., Peake, A.S., Poulton, P.L. (2009) Re-inventing model-based decision support with Australian dryland farmers. 4. Yield Prophet® helps farmers monitor and manage crops in a variable climate 60, 1057–1070.  PDF

Hochman Z, Holzworth DP, Hunt JR (2009) Potential to improve on-farm wheat yield and water-use efficiency in Australia. Crop and Pasture Science 60, 708-716.

Hochman, Z, Hunt J; Long, B; Holzworth, D; Whitbread, A; van Rees, S; and deVoil, P (2009). Building crop producers’ capacity to adapt to climate change and climate variability with Yield Prophet. AgSAP Conference 2009, pp 450-451. Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands.

Hunt, J; Hochman, Z; Long, B; Holzworth, D: Whitbread, A; van Rees, S; DeVoil, P (2008) Using Yield Prophet® to determine the likely impacts of climate change on wheat and barley production, In. “Global Issues, Paddock Action”. Proceedings of the 14th Australian Agronomy Conference, 21-25 September 2008, Adelaide, South Australia. Australian Society of Agronomy.

Hochman, Z; Hunt, James; Carberry, Peter; Gartmann, Alex ; McCown, Bob; van Rees, Harm; Dalgliesh, Neal; Long, Bill; Holzworth, Dean (2007). Scaling Up FARMSCAPE: From Participatory Action Research to a National Network for Delivering Simulation to Support Farm Management. In: Farming Systems Design 2007. pp85-86. September 10-12, Catania, Sicily.

Brennan, L.E.; Hochman, Z.; McCown, R.L.; Darbas, T.M.; Carberry, P.S.; Fisher, J.; Hall, C.A.; Dalgliesh, N.P. (2007) Using computer-based Technologies to Support Farmers Decision Making . RIRDC Publication No. 70/104 . July 2007. pp99.

Hunt, J.R., van Rees H., Hochman, Z., Carberry, P.S., Holzworth, D., Dalgliesh, N.P., Brennan, L.E., Poulton, P.L., van Rees, S., Huth, N.I., Peake, A.S. (2006) Yield Prophet®: Adoption and use of an online crop simulation service. In: Proceedings of 13th Australian Agronomy Conference, 10-14 September 2006. Perth, Australia. http://www.regional.org.au/au/asa/2006/concurrent/adoption/4645_huntj.htm

Hochman Z., van Rees H., Carberry P.S., Holzworth D., Dalgliesh, N.P., Hunt J., Poulton P.L., Brennan, L.E., Darbas T., Fisher J., van Rees, S., Huth N.I. Peake A.S., McCown R.L. 2005. Can access to a cropping system simulator help farmers reduce risk in drought-prone environments? In: InterDrought-II. The 2nd International Conference on Integrated Approaches to Sustain and Improve Plant Production Under Drought Stress. September 24-28, 2005. Rome, Italy.