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Five eTools to inform better on‑farm decisions

08 April 2021

Fine‑tune your business by tapping into MLA’s updated online tools, which have improved accessibility and usability to help producers run productive and profitable businesses.

Here are five ways to access information to support on‑farm decision making, learn new skills and access MLA’s research and development (R&D).

1. On‑farm tools and calculators

Five of MLA’s most popular feedbase tools and calculators have been given a face lift to be more user‑friendly and accessible, even with connectivity challenges.

These include:

  • stocking rate calculator
  • soil phosporus tool
  • pasture improvement calculator
  • feedbase planning and budgeting tool
  • feed demand calculator.

The tools and calculators can now be used without an internet connection, and are mobile and tablet friendly.

This means producers can use the tools and calculators out in the paddock.

Producers and industry advisors can access these tools through the MLA website or download the new MLA eTools app for Apple or Android.

Note, the website version of the tools and calculators can be used without internet, however the MLA eTools app needs an internet connection.

2. New eLearning platform

Producers and advisors can develop new skills anytime, anywhere with MLA’s new free eLearning platform. It’s easy to access and offers a flexible way to expand your skills in your own time. It’s also a great resource for staff training.

The eLearning platform includes a range of modules covering:

  • animal health and welfare for pain relief
  • sheep genetics
  • beef production and productivity
  • healthy soils and pastures.

The modules, which include slideshows, quizzes, images and videos, suit a range of learning styles and take between 5–20 minutes to complete.

3. Easy access research reports

The R&D section of mla.com.au has been overhauled for consistency and usability.

More than 275 of MLA’s recently completed R&D projects and the 38 most searched R&D themes have easy‑to‑read summaries.

They include an overview of MLA’s investment in each area, relevant resources and reports. To make it even easier to find a particular research report, the searchability of 8,500 R&D projects has been improved.

4. Practical resources by topic

MLA has developed resource hubs on mla.com.au to provide a ‘one‑stop shop’ of best practice advice, tools and information on popular topics such as leucaena, phosphorous, dung beetles, seasonal resources, climate  variability, Carbon Neutral 2030 (CN30), mental health and pasture dieback.

5. Education resources at your fingertips

MLA, along with funding partners, develops education and extension resources for producers, such as manuals, tools and calculators.

Many are covered by the Creative Commons licensing system, which provides globally recognised licences allowing users to print, use, share and build upon copyrighted material such as manuals, factsheets, online tools and videos – free of charge.

MLA’s Creative Commons webpage includes resources such as:

  • More Beef from Pastures manuals and videos
  • Give Goats a Go manuals and videos
  • feed demand calculator
  • food safety manuals.

You can use these materials for free, for example to:

  • embed tools and calculators on websites
  • create workshop materials for advisors and producers
  • develop articles to publish in newsletters and on websites
  • create course content for students.