REQUEST FOR SERVICES – MARKETING AND PUBLICITY CONTRACTOR

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An exciting opportunity has become available for a contractor who is an experienced PA Communicator to help support us to increase the adoption of Precision Ag across Australia in agriculture through awareness, targeted marketing initiatives and campaigns, regular and consistent content and communications and helping continue to build relationships within the industry.

Please find the following links useful which provide an overview of the requirements and an expression of interest form to complete Marketing and Publicity Contractor_Request for Services Expression of Interest Form_SPAA

Application close 18th Dec 2020.

For more information and to submit your application, connect with Nicole Dimos via email nicole@spaa.com.au or 0437422000

XAG Agricultural Drone Trial Showing Impressive Early Signs for Application in Broadacre Cropping

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Matt Notley, SPAA committee member and Precision Ag Lecturer at Tocal College in NSW is part of an exciting project this season trialling the latest in agricultural drone technology. Matt is the right man for the project, having developed and implemented multiple courses for Tocal College including the Precision Agronomy skills set, Certificate 4 Cropping and Technology units, and the Certificate 3 Precision Agriculture unit.

Matt was approached by the owner of an XAG UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) P30 Agricultural drone earlier in the year; they had acquired NLP Smart Farms funding and were wanting to do some paddock trials with their drone. The drone had previously been used for spraying in the mining industry by the operator and the company was keen to uncover it is potential in agriculture in Australia. With an impressive list of features lending itself to efficient crop production, Matt began the trial planning!

About the XAG P30 Agricultural

The model of the drone is an XAG UAS P30 Agricultural, it has several features that lend itself to an application in Australian broadacre production. Intelligent Rotary Atomisation Spraying System (XAG® iRASS) enables precise flow rate and drift reduction through an easily adjusted droplet control.

With high flight speed and greater spraying flow, the operation speed of the Agricultural UAS can reach up to 14ha/hr. Matt said ‘when spreading with the drone, it was applying at a speed of 28km/hr when spreading, and 8km/hr spraying. The drone is capable of covering up to 6-7 hectares per hour per drone which is impressive’.  The application of product works by a system of interchangeable canisters which can hold up to 16L of product and can be ‘clipped on and off’ as required.

To further enhance efficiency of application – one person can operate up to five XAG UASs at the same time in a swarming type scenario. The Agricultural UAS is equipped with a fully autonomous operation mode. By pre-setting basic flight parameters, the drone can apply a variable application as programmed, or can navigate to hot spots of weeds etc. ‘Exclusion zones can also be programmed into the flight path’ said Matt. It has an RTK, centimetre accurate flight control system to achieve precise navigation at centimeter-level and a 360-degree omnidirectional radar perception system and can automatically avoid potential obstacles.

To learn more about the drone visit: https://www.xagaustralia.com.au/2020p30, 2020

 

About the trial

The trial location is at Tocal College in the Hunter Valley. The aim is to grow a sorghum crop, sprayed, sown and spread with regular agricultural equipment in some trial strips, and then trial strips sprayed sown and spread on the same days with the drone technology.

Soil tests were taken at the trial site in September and the first comparative procedure was a spray knockdown/pre-emergent spray on the 28th of September. On the 29th the field was sown with SSS Pioneer® sorghum. There are a number of other applications planned for the trial including a top dress fertiliser application

The 2nd generation Smart Liquid Tank is connected with a UAS via Bluetooth to display a real time amount of remaining fluid, accurately calculating the flow without a flow meter.

 

What’s next?

Matt has been impressed with the ease of use and functions useful to broadacre agriculture so far. ‘The exciting part about this project is the fact that already, we can see the potential for implementation in the field’ says Matt ‘The fact that there is absolutely no contact with a standing crop would be a huge advantage to using a drone in the later stages of crop development for applying products like fungicides or late fertiliser application’. The crop is only just emerging but will continue to be monitored in the coming months.

We look forward to bringing you and update on the project early next year when the differences between the drone trial strips and the regular tractor application will be compared.

 

 

‘Conversations with Farmers’ publication launched at SAGIT Forum

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The Annual South Australian Grains Industry Trust (SAGIT) Forum was held on 23rd September. The event marked the official launch of the ‘Conversations with Farmers’ booklet, produced by SPAA and Ag Communicators, with funding from SAGIT. Despite the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented this year (delaying the event from July to September), it was exciting that the event could still be held face to face at the Wayville Showgrounds just like previous years.

Ten years ago, SPAA produced a publication where ten South Australian producers were featured, profiling them as pioneers in the grains industry and early adopters of precision agriculture (PA) technology. SPAA was delighted to have three of the ten farmers featured in the original SPAA produced document and the new document at the SAGIT Forum for the launch.

Mr Mark Branson, of Branson farms in Stockport SA, is one of the farmers who was featured in an original SPAA publication 10 year ago. Mark, who is also a SPAA committee member, formally launched the publication on the day. He says, ‘It’s great to be recognised as an industry leader with my PA journey, and was a pleasure to be able to officially launch the publication ten years on, alongside two other featured farmers – Brendon Johns from Wandearah and Allan Buckley from Waikerie.’  Mark reported back to the committee and was thrilled with the questions and feedback from the floor after he presented the final publication, he said ‘the response was overwhelmingly positive’.

Dr Nicole Dimos, SPAA Executive Officer, said “Conversations with Farmers” was an idea based on feedback that growers like to learn what other growers are doing”. “Popularity demonstrated a need to learn about PA tools and technologies through shared experiences. SPAA revisited The production of case studies is envisaged to lead to new knowledge, provide on-going producer support and highlights the importance of PA tools as part of their business whilst creating a network for farmers to work together and share knowledge.

“We hope this booklet and case studies bring confidence to grain producers and everyone enjoys revisiting these farmers who have helped shaped SPAA. It’s undoubtedly a valuable resource to your farm library and demonstrates that SPAA is an important conduit for the grains industry to learn about farm technology and innovations and to get other producers thinking about the possibilities available to them” said Nicole.

Membership renewals RE-INSTATED

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It’s been three months since your membership renewals with SPAA went ON HOLD. We recognised that you or your family and business may have been hurt financially by the current pandemic crisis. So have we! It’s now time to reciprocate and quickly jump on board and renew your membership with us.

We also have a new change with our membership period now effective to 30 June annually, irrespective of your sign up date, so all the more reason to renew early to maximise your membership benefits.

In the interim, the annual subscription for the 2020-21 year is at a reduced rate of $112.50.

As your number 1 precision agriculture association, we are on your side, please renew your dues when you do receive your notices this month or be proactive and jump online before your letter.  Thank you to those who have also recently renewed, we appreciate your support.

JOB OPPORTUNITY WITH SPAA: Finance / Membership Administrator

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Are you an experienced administrator with a strength in finance/bookkeeping and want to join our team?
• Casual position (flexible hours)
• Ability to Work from Home
Your role with SPAA will be to play an essential role within the organisation to administer the company’s affairs.
The position is responsible for the day to day traditional office and financial coordination of the organisation and is instrumental in ensuring the organisations financial and legal obligations are fulfilled and that budgetary requirements are set and adhered to.
We are looking for a motivated individual who can work independently and proactively without supervision. You must be highly organised and possess excellent written and verbal communication skills.
For more info, check out our advert and apply https://www.seek.com.au/job/50296700

Membership renewal notices ON HOLD

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Even though much of the world is consumed with fighting the spread of coronavirus, membership renewals with SPAA will go ON HOLD. We recognise you or your family and business may have been hurt financially by the current crisis. So have we!  To assist you, we’ll wait with you until things settle a bit longer so SPAA is extending the renewal dates for ALL members. For members who have a Winter 2020 renewal date, we will extend its grace period to 90 days.

Based on the advice being provided by the government, SPAA and its business and project stakeholders have put in place a number of measures to protect the people we work with and as such our face to face events continue to fall victim. We are still producing plenty of resources a benefit exclusive to our members including Australia’s only Precision Agriculture magazine which we produce quarterly, a monthly enewsletter and hopefully you’ve seen our new research updates on YouTube “Three Minutes With….” showcasing projects.

As your number 1 precision agriculture association, we are on your side, please renew your dues when you receive your next notices in September.

If you’ve accidentally received a notice recently, please accept our apologies, and let us know. As you can imagine, we have hundreds of names to adjust, but in the interim, please be assured you’ll remain on track with your PA journey and enjoy taking advantage of the free extra months to your current membership with us.

The SPAA staff and committee

REQUEST FOR SERVICES – PUBLICATIONS CONTRACTOR

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As some of you may be aware, our wonderful existing Publications Contractor will be shortly leaving us to further pursue her PhD. Accordingly, an exciting opportunity has become available for a contractor who is an experienced PA Communicator to help support us with the development of our quarterly magazine Precision Ag News.

Please find following link to our website which provides an overview of the requirements and an expression of interest form to complete Publications Contractor_Request for Services Expression of Interest Form_SPAA

For more information and to submit your application, connect with Nicole Dimos via email nicole@spaa.com.au or 0437422000

Job Opportunity – Marketing and Publicity Coordinator

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SPAA is very excited to be adding a PT Marketing and Publicity Coordinator to the team.

Are you an experienced communicator and marketer who is passionate about Technology adoption in Agriculture?

  • National business, reporting to the Executive Officer
  • Opportunity to work with experts in Precision Agriculture
  • PT Position 20 hrs/week can be based anywhere in Australia (2 year contract)

Click here for more information and how to apply via our SEEK advert.  2005_Marketing and Publicity Coordinator_Candidate Brief

Planning underway for free, nationwide ‘Hands on Precision Agriculture Training’ program

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TAKE THE SURVEY to help shape the program.

The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) has provided funding for us and four leading grower groups to develop and deliver free precision agriculture (PA) training to growers across Australia.

Your feedback will be important to develop the workshop programs Click here to complete the survey

SPAA Executive Office Dr Nicole Dimos says that the ‘Hands-on PA Training’ project will help growers make practical use of PA equipment and data to improve the speed and accuracy of decision making, reduce production costs and increase farm profitability under a range of Australian environmental conditions.

“This project comes at a critical time for the grains industry. At a time when they’re being squeezed by rising costs, uncertain commodity prices and an increasingly variable climate, the ability to farm more efficiently, minimise waste, and improve margins through traceability and marketability, have never been more important.”

In total, fifty-four ‘Hands on PA Training’ events will be held in major grains growing centres during 2020 and 2021. The events will be delivered by leading PA specialists and consultants and will be coordinated by a national coalition of grower groups including:

  • Birchip Cropping Group in Victoria
  • FarmLink in Southern Queensland and New South Wales
  • Rural Directions in South Australia and Tasmania
  • Members of the Grower Group Alliance in Western Australia.

As the first step in developing the training package, Dr Dimos says that the project team has developed an online survey to help better understand grower needs, customise the training package and identify the most appropriate workshop locations.

“We’re asking growers to register their interest by completing the survey and telling us more about how they’re using PA now and how they hope to use it in the future. The results of the survey will be used to plan the structure and content of the training events and help us identify the best locations to hold them”, Dr Dimos says.

Growers who complete the survey will also go into the draw for one of three free SPAA memberships valued at $150.

Complete the survey here

SPAA Precision Ag EXPO POSTPONED

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#SPAAEXPO20 Event Update.
The SPAA committee has made the decision to POSTPONE our #PA event scheduled for next Thursday (26th Mar) in Loxton due to the COVID-19 situation.
Whilst this is extremely disappointing we consider this to be socially responsible and respectful of current policies and communities reaction to COVID-19 virus.
People who have purchased tickets to attend will be refunded and we will be in contact soon.
Stay tuned for new event details in Loxton and many other initiatives with the SPAA PA community once we get the all clear.

#Learn Share Connect Be Inspired