AgYields - a national database for collation of past, present and future pasture and crop yield data
The New Zealand agricultural sector has a rich heritage of measuring yield and growth rates for pastures and crops. Historically these datasets were collected by Government departments, Crown research institutes, Universities and more latterly seed companies and private research providers as well as on-farm. These data are expensive to collect, spatially and temporally patchy, and stored in a range of electronic and physical platforms. Meanwhile the potential value of such data is increasing with the ability to create meta-analyses and simulation modelling to create resilience in crop and pasture systems to meet the needs of the changing regulatory and climate environment. A challenge of data collection is the different priorities and skill sets of those undertaking the task. Thus, there is a need to provide guidelines for the collection, collation and publication of such data to standardize best practice and maximize the value gained from increasingly scarce resources available for pasture and crop research to support the primary industries. In addition, declining funding for field research, means there is an urgent need to draw together existing and future data into a publicly accessible industry good resource. This paper outlines the development of the AgYields web-based repository for pasture and crop growth rate and yield data. It describes the rationale for the database and the need for standardization of data collection to maximize the value of stored data in common formats. The intent is to provide a resource to enhance livestock and crop production systems throughout New Zealand and provide guidelines for future data collection.
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