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Overseer upgrade released

Overseer upgrade released


3 August 2012

Farmers and growers are being offered an enhanced tool to help them use nutrients efficiently.

The owners of the OVERSEER® Nutrient Budgets software are releasing a major upgrade today.

Overseer is available free of charge through a partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and AgResearch.

The upgrade to Overseer Version 6 reflects user feedback on previous versions says Mark Shepherd of AgResearch, the Overseer technical team leader.

“Nutrients are a valuable input, and Overseer is a tool that advisors can use to help farmers and growers get the best use from them. We are continually striving to make it as useful and relevant as possible. This is a major upgrade.”

The owners have worked closely with fertiliser companies as key users, and also with stakeholder groups including local and central government.

The new version of Overseer includes many changes to better represent farm systems, adjustments following a review of underpinning science, and new software.

In addition, it includes two new features: the ability to produce a life-cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and a new dairy goat model.

Philip Mladenov of the Fertiliser Association says the fertiliser industry is pleased to be a partner in the Overseer development programme. “Overseer Version 6 represents a major advance over the previous version and will help our nutrient management advisors provide the best advice possible to farmers and growers on using nutrients sustainably.”

Paul Stocks of MPI says Overseer has proved to be a valuable tool for land managers. “We expect this upgrade will drive further use.”

Overseer Version 6 has been in development over a four-year period.

DETAILS OF VERSION 6 CHANGES:

To get better representation of farm systems, there is now:

Integration of pasture, crop and horticultural models into a single model so that all block types are available for an individual farm; Monthly input of key activities to make the model more closely representative of the farm; Better handling of feed supplements.

Updated science has led to factoring in of:

Effects of drainage and soil type on nitrogen leaching; New information about the nitrification inhibitor (DCD) which can help decrease nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions.

The new software includes:

A new web browser-based interface giving a new look and feel to the model;

The choice of accessing Overseer from a secure web server via the internet or using a standalone version on a home computer; and

An embedded help system with each input screen.

BACKGROUND ON OVERSEER®:

OVERSEER® Nutrient Budgets software is a management tool that estimates movements of nutrients in a farming or growing operation, including losses to water and air.

Its purpose is primarily to improve the efficiency and the sustainability of the production system – both with direct economic benefits to farmers and growers.

Overseer is based on the best science available at any time. Regular enhancements ensure Overseer keeps pace with new research and changing farmer and grower practices.

WEBSITE: http://www.overseer.org.nz


ENDS

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