Welcome to User Guides!

This page has useful information and tools, specifically for users. This page is a WORK IN PROGRESS. We will populate this page with more resources as they become available. We look forward to our first YouTube video being uploaded...

Release Notes

Release Notes are a list of the changes included in the version being released. They are not a use guide, but let the user know how the new version is different to the previous one.

Release Notes for version 6.3.0 March 2018

Release Notes v6.2.3.pdf - November 2016

Release notes for version 6.2.2  - May 2016

Release notes for version 6.2.1 - December 2015

Release notes for version 6.2.0 - April 2015

Release notes for version 6.1.3 - August 2014

Release notes v6.0 part 1 - August 2012

Release notes v6.0 part 2 - August 2012

      Overseer Best Practice Data Input Standards v 6.3.0

Defining input data can have a significant impact on a resulting nutrient budget, so we've produced a ‘best practice’ standard (developed by expertsto guide users. The standards are updated every time a new version is released.  Read One nutrient budget to rule them all to find out more.

To help you get up to date with the lastest version of the standards, we've listed the changes made below.
  • Section 1.3, page 2.  Add Outdoor Pigs as a block.
  • Section 1.3, page 3.  Add a description of an Outdoor Pig Block. Change the wording of the definitions for Fodder crop and Crop blocks.
  • Section 1.6, page 5.  Add in new recommendations to cover the new fields available on the ‘Animal distribution between blocks’ section
  • Section 2.1.1, page 11.  Add an animal class – Outdoor Pigs and a sentence how stock numbers are to be entered.
  • Add a new Section 2.6, page 18 called Outdoor Pigs.  This will also include sub-sections 2.6.1 – 2.6.6 which covers Housing, Housing Effluent, Feeding Systems, Feeding Amounts, Feed composition and Straw Disposal.
  • Section 3.2, page 23.  Update recommendation under ‘Management - winter standoff usage’ to include an option of days per month for entering the percentage of animals that use winter standoff.
  • Section 4.1, page 28.  Add Outdoor Pig Specific subsection.
  • Section 4.9, page 37.  Add another note about supplements made on crop blocks.
  • Section 4.14, page 45.  Change the wording of the recommendation for the source of liquid effluent applications.
  • Section 4.15, page 46.  Add another subsection called Management.  This describes additional information that is required for grazed pasture and seed crops on blocks at the beginning of Year 1. Also changed the headings in this section to better match the headings in the model.
  • Section 4.16, page 49.  Add a new note around non-farm animals are not recommended to be used to enter a defoliation (this was in the appendix, but moving forward to within the document also now).
  • Add a new section 4.17, page 49.  Outdoor Pig Green Cover
  • Appendix 6, page 61.  Addition of a new crop and changes to several recommendations.
  • Appendix 7, page 67-74.  Two new examples of how to enter crop data into the fodder crop block and crop block pages.
  • Appendix 13, page 90.  Updates have been made to the Seed crops page to align it to the updated seed crop model.


User Guides

NZ Pork Outdoor pigs user guide - a guide created by NZ Pork for use of the Outdoor Pigs model

Defoliation of annual ryegrass, pasture and seed crops User Guide - March 2018- this User Guide provides an explanation of the changes to annual ryegrass, seed crops, and permanent pasture in crop blocks.

Animal Report User Guide - May 2016 - a guide for use of the animal reports in OVERSEER and how they can help.

Definition of Terms in the Nutrient Budget - updated May 2016 - a summary of the terms in the OVERSEER Nutrient Budget Reports (previously Technical Note 6)

Crop input guidelines for Overseer - June 2013 - a report prepared for the Foundation for Arable Research.  Please note that the Best Practice Data Input Standards are the agreed standard for determining input data for all farm types. Recommendations in this report should be checked against the Standards.

OVERSEER Standalone installation instructions - a step by step guide to installing OVERSEER Standalone

Other Resources

Overseer brochure - a brochure providing an overview of OVERSEER - for you to print and give to your customers.

Facts about OVERSEER - an information sheet about OVERSEER basics.

Summary of OVERSEER Nutrient Budgets Input Data Sensitivities - this describes the sensitivities (as currently known) of OVERSEER input information.

Practical Tips for Data Entry

Locking and unlocking Farms

Farms providing block and scenario reports can be locked using the My Farms page by clicking on the padlock to prevent inadvertent changes being made to a farm and consequential changes to reported values.
Locked farms are indicated by a closed padlock, unlocked farms by an open one .
When a farm is locked, reports are updated and the date and time recorded in the Last modified column. If an error is reported, the farm cannot be locked.
Reports generated by a locked farm remain unchanged until the farm is unlocked and therefore do not reflect changes associated with subsequent releases of OVERSEER.
When a locked farm is copied it remains locked; the copied farm is unlocked. Locked farms can be downloaded using the “Export the last successful nutrient budget” button and reports interrogated using customised software. However, if imported into OVERSEER some time later, reported values in the xml file may differ from those reported by OVERSEER if a version has been released in the meantime.

In-app support

Help is available throughout the OVERSEER application as a description of each input page. To access Help click the '? Show Help' icon. Some pages also include blue question marks next to text or data entry fields. These provide screen tips to help complete the input field.

Data Entry

So that OVERSEER can model lots of different farm systems, there are lots of different data entry fields. The brief summary below describes some of the practical functions of data entry for OVERSEER.

There are two categories of data entry:

  1. Required data - these are shown by a red arrow - and where possible default values are available that may be changed. The model will not run without this information being entered.
  2. Optional data - these input fields relate to things that may or may not be included in the farm system (such as irrigation and fertiliser). The model will run without this information, but if the optional field is not used and is relevant to the system the nutrient budget will be inaccurate and meaningless.

Default values - These are provided so OVERSEER can run with the least amount of data input. Default values are based on internal databases and scientific and/or industry knowledge. Using known farm management information will generate the best nutrient budget.

Changing fields on pages - On some data input pages, not all of the required fields might be shown on opening the page. This is because the required data fields will change depending on the previous options selected.

Tricky Icons