Undertaking regular land condition assessments and forage budgets is considered part of best management practice (BMP) for graziers in northern Australia. These management tasks can be complex and require a number of steps both in the paddock and in the office, along with supporting tools and skills to be able to answer the questions: “what is my current pasture condition” and “how long will this feed last given the stock in the paddock”?
The Stocktake Plus mobile application (the app) has been developed as a grazing land management (GLM) decision support tool for north Australian graziers, natural resource management (NRM) groups and public and private service providers. People can use the app to improve their knowledge and understanding of land condition monitoring and forage budgeting with the focus on making better land resource management decisions.
Since the app’s release in April 2013, there has been a strong extension framework based around it. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) staff and other external deliverers have promoted the app to graziers and NRM staff as part of other contracted projects, in particular Stocktake workshops and MLA EDGEnetwork workshops (Grazing Land Management EDGE, Grazing Fundamentals and Nutrition EDGE).
The app’s uptake through registrations has well exceeded the original forecast of 500 registered users. To date over 1500 users have registered and downloaded the app, and of these 61% (882) are cattle graziers, 12% (172) are mixed enterprise producers and 4% (55) are sheep producers.
Independent evaluation shows that many users are positive about the app – praising it for being intuitive, easy to use and navigate, simple and straightforward, and very user friendly.
For some people however, satisfaction and adoption levels were hampered by frustrations caused by technical, design, and learning issues.
While overall refinements of the app and adoption were progressing well, a significant technical failure in database back-up function is now stalling further progress.