Nutrien agronomist Cassidy Chambers is based in Gnowangerup, WA but provides agronomic services to Nutrien clients of the Lake Grace and Tambellup branches as well. Some growers also get serviced by a number of different Nutrien agronomists, depending on availability and other factors.
Cassidy and her colleagues at Nutrien all use the Agworld platform for their crop planning, budgeting, agronomy and inputs forecasting activities. When an agronomist needs to help a local colleague or a different branch, full farm data access can easily be granted so that everyone has access to the most up to date information available.
Through having all data for their cropping clients on the Agworld platform, Nutrien agronomists have access to the farm data and crop plan for every client they provide services to during the cropping season. With this farm data and crop plan they are able to quickly and efficiently create recommendations and send these to their clients, third party applicators and anyone else that needs this information.
Nutrien Ag Solutions
Area served:All of Australia
Type:Ag retail and agronomy services provider
Crops:Wheat, barley, canola, lupins, faba beans, oats and hay
Cassidy Chambers grew up on a farm in Ravensthorpe and then moved to Perth to study Ag Science and Environmental Science. After finishing her degree in 2016 Cassidy started her agronomy career first in Midland, WA, and then Gnowangerup, WA with a business that merged into what is now known as the Nutrien Ag Solutions network. Due to a colleague’s maternity leave, Cassidy now not only provides agronomy services to clients in the Gnowangerup area, but to growers in the Tambellup and Lake Grace areas as well. “The cropping systems are very different in each area, which makes working in such a geographical spread very exciting.” Cassidy says.
“This past year for example has been a very dry start in Gnowangerup with a good finish, while West Tambellup has seen one of the best seasons in a long time; this variation makes things very interesting for me. I’m doing agronomy up in Lake Grace as well, as a colleague there went on maternity leave, so that’s adding another fascinating element to my job. This is also where Agworld really comes in handy, as it made the transfer of knowledge for this new group of growers to me from my colleague a lot easier. I’m now over in Lake Grace a few days per week permanently.”
Cassidy continues: “All we had to do is call the growers to get their consent, and then transfer the data access over from my colleague to my Agworld account - which is quick and easy. This gives me immediate access to all their historic data on Agworld, such as rotation history, field observations and herbicides used, which really helps me in rapidly understanding the dynamics of each cropping operation and allows me to ‘hit the ground running’ so to speak in this area that’s new for me. We have followed the same process for some growers in Gnowangerup that I service together with one of my colleague agronomists in this branch; where needed, we both have access to the data so we can each do part of the agronomic activities.”
“The challenge for me in the 2020 season was not only to start giving agronomic advice to growers I hadn’t worked with before, in an area that’s new to me, but adhering to the COVID-19 rules and regulations as well. So, I wasn’t able to have a look at a new farm together with a client in some cases and had to do my first few farm visits by myself; having farm maps and background information for each field available in Agworld really helped me get my bearings in this situation while remaining socially distanced at all times.”
Most growers in the Gnowangerup, Tambellup and Lake Grace areas, with an average farm size of 2,000 hectares, work on a rotation of wheat, barley, canola, lupins, faba beans, oats and hay, and they often run some sheep as well. The wide variety of crops and involvement of livestock creates an interesting mix for agronomists to work with. Cassidy: “We do a lot of soil testing and tissue testing to make sure we are getting the maximum out of each field each season. Depending on which crops have been grown in past seasons, and whether livestock has been grazing in a field, our baseline readings can differ a lot.”
Cassidy continues: “This variety to me really means that I need short lines of communication with my clients; they often have specific observations in parts of a field, or requirements for the next crop for example, that I need to be aware of so I can proactively manage any situation. Agworld really helps me with this as it allows growers to draw areas in their fields on Agworld and make observations or comments so that I’m immediately aware of them when I’m in the field next. This prevents a lot of time wasted on phone calls and helps us become more accurate in everything that we do.”
“Now that I service growers in 3 geographically distinct areas, it’s even more important for me to be in close communication with my growers as the seasonal circumstances are fairly different between the areas. We obviously take this into account when creating the season plan in Agworld but, as the season progresses, it really helps me to see growers record rainfall, observations, actuals and other information in Agworld. As soon as I get to a field, I pull it up in Agworld and immediately know what I need to be looking for or what I should be taking into account.”
For Cassidy and her colleague agronomists, it’s not only the communication and data sharing with clients that is important, but with other shareholders as well. “Letting a grower know what we recommend is just one step, we also have to make sure that the correct product gets delivered and that spray contractors have the correct details as well.” according to Cassidy. “As soon as I create a recommendation in the field, I can send it to the grower and assign the job to a spray contractor as well if the grower doesn’t perform the application themselves. I can also make sure that our merchandise manager receives a copy so that they can make sure they deliver the correct product to the correct location. Especially now that I work across 3 different branches, it’s important to have a streamlined and standardised process so that recommendations can be actioned as soon as possible.”
Cassidy concludes with: “To me, the streamlining of data and communication through Agworld is the best part of the platform. With servicing a large number of growers across different branches and a diverse geographical area comes the risk of losing track of those details that are so important in agronomy; Agworld helps us negate this risk. The Agworld Platform helps us centralise all grower data in a central location so that anyone that needs it can get access to it. Through being able to access all data in this central location, we’re able to provide the best possible service to our grower clients and help them maximise their results each season.”
"With servicing a large number of growers across different branches and a diverse geographical area comes the risk of losing track of those details that are so important in agronomy; Agworld helps us negate this risk."
With the Stirling Ranges Beef team comprising 10 people, who all need to communicate with each other, as well as with agronomists and other farming partners, there is an obvious need for a data platform to keep everyone on the same page and create awareness across the farm.