SPAA Symposium 2022 – Save the Date & Calls for Abstracts open!


25th Australasian Precision Agriculture Symposium – 6 & 7 September 2022 at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.

Hosted by SPAA, Society of Precision Agriculture Australia, with program collaboration from the University of Sydney’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory at the Sydney Institute of Agriculture.

Attend the special SPAA 20th Anniversary Dinner, Adelaide Oval, Tues 6th September – we can’t wait for you to join us for an inspiring evening.

Be part of this fantastic SPAA learning & networking event! Registration opening soon!

The 25th APAS will provide a vibrant forum for farmers, researchers, industry/commercial suppliers and representatives, policymakers and anyone with an interest in precision agriculture and the agtech needs of established and young growers from across the grains, horticulture, sugar, viticulture, cotton, livestock and other production industries to discuss the latest developments in precision agriculture.

We welcome anyone interested in precision agriculture, and agricultural technologies including robotics and automation in Australasia to attend this fantastic in-person networking event. Hear speakers, participate in interactive panel Q&A sessions, and hold in-depth conversations with industry representatives and advisors at their displays all in a relaxing, learning atmosphere.

Topics include:

  • variable-rate applications,
  • automation,
  • robotics,
  • positioning technologies,
  • digital soil mapping,
  • machine-learning applications,
  • crop quality monitoring,
  • animal management and health.


Purchase Event Tickets Here


Sponsorship Opportunities:

For 25th APAS sponsorship enquiries contact: – get on board with SPAA & the 25th APAS!

Abstract & Presentation Opportunities:

Abstracts due 25th July 2022. Please send abstracts for the 25th Australasian Precision Agriculture Symposium as Word docs to Dr Rachel Melland at & to Assoc. Prof Brett Whelan at

Abstract Guidelines & Template (Download Link)


Extra special thanks to all of our sponsors including the 25th APAS Major Sponsor, the GRDC

Program collaboration



Silver symposium sponsor


Sapphire symposium sponsor


Emerald symposium sponsors



Supporting symposium sponsor



New dates for Vic workshops


After being postponed from earlier in the year, new dates have been announced for the second round of Hands on PA Training workshops in Victoria.

The GRDC-funded workshops are designed to help grain growers maximise profitability by using PA tools and strategies leading into this year’s harvest.

Workshop dates are:

  • Yarrawonga – August 8
  • Pyramid Hill – August 9
  • Inverleigh – August 10
  • Longerenong – August 11
  • Sea Lake – August 12

The workshops will run from 9am to 3pm and lunch is included, but spaces are limited. For more details, and to register, go to

Members elect new leadership team



The Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) has a new leadership team after the recent virtual Annual General Meeting.

The executive is:

  • President Philip Honey, Environmental & Cropping Technologies Australia Director (Albany, WA)
  • Vice president Dale Kirby, North West Local Land Services Extension Manager (Gunnedah, NSW)
  • Treasurer Steve Carn, Farmer (Parilla, SA)
  • Immediate past president Frank D’Emden, Precision Ag Agronomist (Perth, WA).

Committee members are:

  • Denis Pozzebon, Sugar Cane Grower (Ayr, Qld)
  • Julie O’Halloran, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Senior Development Horticulturist (Gatton, Qld)
  • Ben Heaslip, Rice Research Australia Farm Manager (Jerilderie, NSW)
  • Rohan Rainbow, Crop Protection Australia Managing Director (Canberra, ACT)
  • Jonathan Medway, Charles Sturt University Senior Research Fellow in Spatial Agriculture (Wagga Wagga, NSW)
  • Chad Glover, Farmer and CC Agricultural Manager (Yeelanna, SA)
  • Jamie Barwick, University of New England Precision Agriculture Lecturer and Researcher (Armidale, NSW).

Delivering his final president’s report, Frank D’Emden said the past year was notable for its significant challenges and upheaval.

He paid tribute to the late Wendy Weston, who died suddenly in January – just six months after replacing longtime SPAA executive officer Dr Nicole Dimos-Byrnes in the role.

“I want to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Wendy made to SPAA during the short time she was with us,” Frank said.

“She introduced some much-needed changes to the way we operate, very quickly came to understand the environment we work in and got some important projects across the line.”

Frank highlighted the continuing impact of COVID-19 restrictions on SPAA’s ability to complete projects and run events during the year.

However, he noted planning was underway for the first in-person Precision Agriculture Symposium in two years, to be held in conjunction with the South Australian PA expo in Adelaide and a celebration dinner to mark 20 years since SPAA was formed.

Retiring committee members Neale Postlethwaite – who joined the AGM from his tractor cab while seeding canola – Jessica Koch, Ben Pratt, Matt Notley and Jonathan Dyer were thanked for their service to the organisation.

Frank also announced the appointment of Dr Rachel Melland, who has been acting in the role, as SPAA’s new Executive Officer.

Speaking after the AGM, Phil Honey said he was looking forward to a return to hosting in-person events, increasing engagement with SPAA members and providing practical on-ground support to as many farmers as possible.

“I also look forward to seeing SPAA further cement its position as Australia’s renowned source of independent precision agriculture and digital agriculture advice, research, extension and training,” he said.

“SPAA has great knowledge networks throughout Australia, and actively supports farming organisations from their initial adoption phase through to full-blown ‘all-in PA’ operations. The networks extend well beyond the farm-gate to include leading machinery manufacturers and cutting edge researchers from a range of government, university and private organisations.

“No matter where you are farming or advising or what your experience levels in precision ag may be, there’s always someone in the industry willing to help and share their knowledge.”

Notice of Annual General Meeting


Join the Precision Ag community online for the SPAA Annual General Meeting and hear from two special guest speakers.

John Deere Production System Manager, Ben Kelly, will talk about the future outlook for PA in Australia and Beefwood Farms Manager, Glenn Coughran, will discuss the use of PA on-farm in the Gwydir Valley. There will be time allowed for a Q&A session.

Pop the details in your diary or calendar: Thursday, April 28, from 6pm (AEST), 5.30pm SA, 4pm WA, via Zoom

SPAA members should keep an eye out for email updates, including Zoom links, information about the election of office bearers and committee members, and how to nominate someone you think deserves recognition as a Life Member.

Voting at the AGM is restricted to members, so please check your membership is up to date or join here today.

Members can view documents relating to the AGM by logging in to the members only portal on the SPAA website here.


When: Thursday April 28, 2022
Time: 6pm (AEST), 5.30pm SA, 4pm WA
Where: Online via Zoom
How to RSVP: On the website here. If you’re unable to attend, please complete the registration/proxy form and email it to or post to SPAA Inc PO Box 1728 Swan Hill VIC 3585
RSVP deadline: By 5pm (AEST) Tuesday April 26, 2022.
Instructions for using Zoom and meeting links will be sent to members before the meeting.

If you require any further information about the AGM or committee nominations, please email

SA Precision Ag Expo postponed


Even as Australia’s borders reopen to international travellers, the pandemic continues to disrupt events across the country.

Ongoing uncertainty about the staging of events has forced the SPAA committee to make the difficult decision to postpone this year’s SA Precision Ag Expo, which was to have been held on March 24 at Two Wells.
A new date and other details will be communicated as they’re finalised.

Check and keep an eye on our social media accounts for updates.

Hands on Precision Ag Training workshops postponed


UPDATE: All February and March workshops in NSW and Victoria have been postponed to a date TBC

In response to the current COVID-19 situation, GRDC made the decision to move all GRDC events scheduled for January and February to an online format, and if this is not practical, postpone or cancel them.

GRDC Interim Managing Director Cathie Warburton said in a statement, “We recognise the impact COVID-19 is having on Australians and these measures are in place to reduce the risk to our staff, their families and the communities we all live and work in.”

The Hands on Precision Agriculture Training workshops, which are funded by the GRDC, are intended to show farmers how to use certain software and demonstrate different technologies, which becomes difficult to achieve in an online format.

Check and keep an eye on our social media for new dates.

Celebrating the life of Wendy Weston

Wendy Weston
A celebration of the life of our late Executive Officer, Wendy Weston, will be held at the Drouin Cemetery, Longwarry Road, Drouin, Victoria, on Wednesday, February 2.
The graveside service (10.45am for an 11am start) will be followed by light refreshments at the Drouin Golf Club, McGlone Road.
There will be a livestream of the service here for anyone who can’t be there but would like to pay their respects. Messages for the family can also be left on the Nielsen Funerals page.
It was Wendy’s wish to have a “no fuss” funeral, and she has asked those who attend to wear bright colours.
Please also BYO an umbrella, just in case. The forecast is for a minimum of 12 degrees and a maximum of 22 degrees, with possible light showers.

Vale Wendy Weston


Wendy Weston

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of our Executive Officer, Wendy Weston, unexpectedly at home in Victoria on January 17.

Wendy had been with SPAA since July 2021 and was helping lead the organisation through some exciting changes.

She was not just a co-worker but a good friend, and we’ll miss her more than words can express.

SPAA president Frank D’Emden said Wendy was a champion of not for profits and member-based organisations and threw herself into learning about the Precision Agriculture sector.

“Our thoughts are with Wendy’s family, her husband Paul and adult daughter Gemma, and her dear friends who are also understandably devastated,” he said.

“I was fortunate enough to work closely with Wendy during the past six months. She was an accomplished professional and a remarkable woman who was making a real difference to SPAA.”

We will share with you details of the funeral or memorial service when we learn more.

Frank will be acting Executive Officer for the interim. Please address correspondence to: SPAA President Frank D’Emden at

New dates for NSW & Vic Hands on Precision Ag workshops



The Hands on Precision Ag Workshops have been made available with funding from:


UPDATE: Lockdowns and changing border restrictions have forced adjustment of the schedule for some of the interactive Hands on Precision Agriculture Training workshops. The southern NSW and Victoria workshops will now be held in early 2022. The new dates are at

The second round of interactive Hands on Precision Agriculture Training workshops is underway across Australia.

The aim of the free workshops is to introduce farmers to precision agriculture (PA) techniques they can use to identify and manage variability, and improve productivity and profitability.

The topics for discussion are specific to each region and were chosen from issues raised by farmers in a 2020 survey.

The survey found a significant number of farmers had access to PA tools but did not use them. This included machinery data (25%), yield maps (24%) and spray maps (20%).

The most common reasons for not using them were: not having the right software (34%), never being shown how to use/create them (34%), and because they take too much time/effort (31%).

The first round of workshops held in early 2021 paved the way for farmers to start using some of the PA tools they already have – including mobile devices, computers and machinery-based platforms – and free or low-cost data for yield mapping, remote sensing, soil and pH mapping and in-season monitoring.

The second round of workshops will build on that experience and help participants gain a better understanding of how to use proven tools and techniques to devise strategies for forecasting and addressing variability in yield and profit.

SPAA leads the Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded project, with support from Birchip Cropping Group, Pinion Advisory, the Grower Group Alliance, FarmLink and Coutts J&R.

Details of workshop dates and locations will be available at when confirmed.

2021 Precision Ag Symposium – Save the date


After the success of last year’s virtual event, the 2021 Precision Ag Symposium will also be staged online.

Our aim is to ensure it is accessible to all attendees right across Australia and overseas, despite the limitations placed on travel by responses to the global pandemic.

Networking in person and farm tours might be off the agenda for now, but we can still share the latest in precision agriculture research and development and hear from Australian farmers about their experiences of PA and how they’re using data to make decisions in the paddock.

The 2021 Precision Ag Symposium is a FREE event being hosted by SPAA in conjunction with the University of Sydney’s Precision Agriculture Laboratory and Sydney Institute of Agriculture.

More information, including the program and login details, will be provided once confirmed.

For now, register here to receive updates and mark the date in your calendar to make sure you don’t miss it.


Date: Monday, September 13

Time: 1-4pm

Cost: Free

Enquiries: Registration queries – SPAA Executive Officer Wendy Weston or (03) 5997 8271.
Program and speaker questions – Symposium Convenor Brett Whelan

In the meantime, you can watch the 2020 virtual symposium here.