An Association focussed on optimising agricultural management
The Precision Agriculture Association (SPAA) promotes the development and adoption of precision agriculture technologies as means of enhancing the profitability and sustainability of crop production systems.
Current members of the Association include people involved in the production of grains, wine grapes and horticultural crops, such as growers, consultants and researchers. The membership reflects the Association’s view that the management of all crop production systems is subject to of the inherent variability of the land.
Precision agriculture provides the means for measuring the variability observed in crop yield and quality parameters. Precision agriculture tools also provide the means for site specific crop management and when combined with traditional agronomy tools, can lead to improved crop yields, quality and efficiency of crop production. Precision agriculture will be an important innovation on Australian farms in the future,
with potential for quantum increases in production efficiency.
In the grains industry, Australia has experienced a rapid rate of adoption of guidance and autosteer systems for machinery; however the adoption of variable rate technology has been much slower. Similar trends are observed in other parts of the world, including the USA and Europe. Improving technology and continued research will improve the adoption of variable rate technology both in Australia and overseas.
The use of precision agriculture technologies within the grape and wine industry is commonly referred to as precision viticulture. Following the introduction of precision viticulture tools such as global positioning systems, grape yield monitors, airborne remote sensing, and soil sensing instrumentation to the industry in the late 1990’s and associated research during the intervening years, grapegrowers and winemakers
are now recognising the magnitude of within-vineyard differences and the causes of that variation.
The Association also sees opportunities for precision agriculture technologies within the sugar industry in the near future.
SPAA publishes a regular newsletter for its members, holds field days and seminars, and is active in the promotion and conduct of demonstration and experimentation on members’ properties.