[17 May/Rural News]

A controversial farm management tool, Overseer, will get $5 million state funding for an upgrade according to the recent budget. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said the Government and the primary sector would work together to boost the science behind the tool. Overseer is a tool that helps measure nutrient use and greenhouse gas emissions. It can assist farmers to minimise waste and maximise profits. Overseer predicts the amount of nitrate leaching below the rooting depth of the pasture. The additional funding for Overseer would enable quicker adoption of environmentally friendly farm practices, the inclusion of a wider range of land types and farming systems and a more user friendly interface. Environment Minister, David Parker, added the extra funding in the budget opened up opportunities for farmers to trial new technologies, techniques and tools that would otherwise be too expensive.