The objective of this project is to increase the awareness and understanding of agricultural stakeholders in the supply chain (farmers, agronomists, field officers, contractors, agri-business) of the production and environmental benefits of applying precision agricultural (PA) technologies on farm.
Using mapped data to inform decisions about vari-rate nutrition and vari-rate irrigation techniques, the project aims to not only help boost crop yields, but also reduce fertiliser costs, improve irrigation techniques and provide information to make better farm management decisions.
The project will specifically use selected demonstration sites as a means to:
Ultimately, this will build capacity in not only the production aspect of farming with precision agriculture techniques, but also encourage an increased awareness of soil constraints and environmental
responsibilities in farming.
Geo-referenced site soil survey to identify zones of variable characteristics to allow variable treatment (e.g. variable rate irrigation).
Digital Elevation Modelling (DEM) as a platform for watershed analysis, drainage planning and VR irrigation.
Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a platform to monitor plant vigour. NDVI highlights relative variability within a crop. It can guide targeted assessment of crop performance and actions to remediate any problems. NDVI images can be sourced using satellite, fixed wing aircraft and UAV's.
Geo-referenced grid analysis to identify pH variability and guide identification of management zones within a paddock/farm.
Variable rate irrigation and fertilisation
VR application technologies include irrigation (pivot or linear), nutrition and seeding rates.
Yield monitoring technology allows preparation of yield maps which illustrate crop variability, and the influence of other variables (e.g. EM38, NDVI) on final crop yield. Cereal, pea and some potato harvest data will be assessed in the project. Yield data is a powerful commercial driver for PA investment.