A NSW Government website

What is the DPI Seasonal Conditions Monitoring Network?

The NSW Government is committed to improving the resilience of our rural economy in the face of climate extremes. As part of the DRNSW Future Ready Regions program the NSW Department of Primary Industries is building a field-based Seasonal Conditions Monitoring Network. The network will:

  • Consist of highly instrumented sites in key locations that will gather high quality meteorological, plant available water data and production impact data.
  • Ground truth the state-wide Seasonal Conditions and Drought Monitoring services provided by DPI.
  • Provide a testbed for the development of new products that help farmers and industry manage climate risks to their operation.

Stage 1 of the Monitoring Network

Many of the sites are located on DPI research facilities or on properties where there are existing arrangements.

Stage 1 also includes an expansion where new sites will be built to provide state-wide coverage.

How do I apply to become a Monitoring Farm?

The Expression of Interest process is now closed. Successful applications will be contacted soon with further details.

What are the benefits of becoming a Monitoring Farm?

  • Improved insights on growing conditions with access to high grade digital networks for climate and soil moisture on your farm.
  • Instrumentation installed to the highest standard for free by Departmental professionals.
  • Work with DPI to build up a history of quality data about the impacts of climate on your pasture base and/or cropping program.
  • Have access to this information through custom exclusive applications and dashboards.
  • Receive training in digital agriculture as well as 1:1 tuition in the design, installation and maintenance of your monitoring networks.
  • Have the technology serviced annually for free by Departmental staff.
  • Receive customised individual support so that the data creates value for your farm plan.
  • Be the first to have full access to new NSW DPI services for farmers, including a number of exclusive services customised for participating farms.

What are my commitments to the project?

There is a zero financial commitment upfront for the landholder to become a DPI Seasonal Conditions Monitoring Farm. DPI is responsible for sensor procurement and installation and data connectivity until June 2024. Agreements may be extended after this period.

Eligible landholders will need to:

  • Agree to a data sharing and land access agreement with NSW DPI.
  • Be trained to trouble shoot the technology if there are problems and be available to fix basic faults
  • Carry out seasonal maintenance, for example some instrument cleaning.
  • Have time available to help plan the installation on your property.
  • Undertake a survey of seasonal conditions on your farm every season (6 times per year) using the FarmTracker application in February, April, June, August, October, and December.
  • Undertake groundcover and pasture yield assessments at an agreed site on your farm every season (6 times per year) in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

How will the Seasonal Conditions Monitoring Network be used?

The data collected at the monitoring sites will be used to:

  • Produce a seasonal validation report of the state-wide seasonal conditions monitoring services.
  • Underpin a new system that provides farmers with state-of-art monitoring and forecasting of climate and soil moisture.

Where is the Stage 1 expansion of the Seasonal Conditions Monitoring Network focused?

The Stage 1 network builds on existing DPI sites including its own research farms and suitable sites from other programs such as Climate Smart Pilots and Farms of the Future.

The Stage 1 expansion focuses on installing up to 6 new sites in several key regions not covered by the above programs. The Stage 1 expansion specifically targets the Western, Central West, South East and Hunter Local Land Services regions.

Pending the outcomes of Stage 1, further installations may be commissioned in the future.

What is the application process?

  1. The EOI phase closed on Friday 25 November and applications are being reviewed.
  2. Suitable applicants will be invited to complete an application form
  3. The application form must be returned by Friday 16 December, 2022.
  4. Qualifying respondents will be contacted by phone to confirm their interest and suitability
  5. An independent selection committee will review and shortlist the applications
  6. Applicants will then be notified whether they have been successful or unsuccessful.
  7. Successful producers will be contacted to plan the next steps.

How do I find out more?

If you are eligible for the Stage 1 expansion you will be invited to complete an application.