New faces join the SPAA committee

We are thrilled to announce some new faces joining the SPAA committee who were elected at our recent AGM that was held in Crystal Brook in March.

Ben Pratt is a farmer from Blyth graduated last year with a first class honours degree at the Uni of Adelaide with a focus on PA mapping. He was keen to join SPAA in order to help others realise the power of data when used correctly and that it doesn’t have to be complicated or technical.

Jon Dyer was a 2015 Nuffield Scholar and grain producer from Kaniva in Victoria’s West Wimmera.

He too joined the SPAA committee because during his Nuffield studies he realised that precision technology and data driven decision making was arriving in agriculture and is here to stay. SPAA is a way for him to connect with and learn from other farmers that are implementing these technologies. Hopefully he will likewise be able to contribute my own experiences and things I’ve learnt.

Chad Glover was re-elected to serve the position of Treasurer.

Congratulations on these appointments and look forward to the next two years with you on our committee helping to drive PA adoption.

Funding success for SPAA

Have you ever wondered what the pioneering PA producers are now doing?

With thanks to new project funding from SAGIT we will revisit a number of grain producers (aka early adopters) and collect information about their continued journey and adoption and use of PA technology and to glean useful insights from this information that can be suitable to those who now are ready for forge ahead.  Specifically 10 SA farmers will be interviewed where we will seek:

1) To perform exploratory and explanatory case study interviews on 10 progressive/ early adopters of PA components across South Australia to explore, explain, and understand why these farmers adopted.

2) To understand which technology tools or components have been the most beneficial and valuable (costs vs. benefits) to adopting farmers.

3) To examine how management practices have changed as a result of adopting and using PA components.

4) To determine current satisfaction or dissatisfaction with individual PA components.

5) To determine if pioneering PA users plan to continue to adopt additional PA components in the future.

Each year we will produce five case studies that will be made available free and online.

 

 

 

A review of indicators of soil health and function: Farmers’ needs and data management

The Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) at Federation University Australia has been funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) to provide a comprehensive review of the relevance of reliable, easily measurable and practical indicators of agricultural soil health and function.

Through the mechanism of an online survey, the researchers aim to gather data to help to determine which of these properties would be of most practical use as indicators to improve profitability for Australian farmers. The research project seeks to find out:

  • What data farmers are collecting, why they collect it, whether they use it and what data they would ideally like
  • What tools and methods (indicators) farmers are already using to assess their soil performance
  • The current availability of soils data and the usefulness and limitations of this data

As someone who understands the role of soils in agriculture, we invite you to be involved and to provide your insights into these issues. Your input will help those involved in this research project to understand why some indicators might be more useful than others, and more importantly, what would or would not work on-farm.

If you agree to participate in the survey for this research please go to the website

https://survey.cerdi.edu.au/SoilsCRC

This survey has 15 questions and should take about 15 minutes to complete. No information collected through the survey will be used to identify individuals.

The results of this survey will be available in early June 2018 on the CRC HPS website (www.soilcrc.com.au).

For further information about the project and survey, please read the Plain Language Information Statement at the survey website.

2018 SPAA AGM

Notice is hereby given that the 2018 SPAA AGM will be held on Wednesday 21st March in Crystal Brook SA.

Member invitations, minutes and reports will be sent to all members 28 days prior to the meeting.

SPAA Factsheet features in The Weekly Times February Crop Gear magazine

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Did you see the article in the February issue of The Weekly Times Crop Gear magazine about Weed Sensing Technology? Did you want to learn more about this, download our factsheet now filled with a list of benefits and case studies!

Read more

New Factsheets launched by SPAA

SPAA supports innovation, and innovation also includes people. We are thrilled to launch our great new factsheets providing you with a snapshot and access to explain the capabilities of a range of PA tools and technologies that are applied across the grains industry. Here the first 2 of six are made available to you.

 

Read more

#PASymposium16 Proceedings now available

Couldn’t make it to #PASympoisum16 in Toowoomba last month? Great news, the event proceedings are now freely available.

Download your copy now!

New team at SPAA to build on precision agriculture drive

We are thrilled to announce two new appointments with Ms Amanda Woods as the association’s new PA Development Officer and Ms Joanne Pech as its new Event Co-ordinator.   Read more

International trends in technology for agriculture

Attending the International Conference on Precision Agriculture (ICPA) is a great way to keep abreast of developments in PA and some of the people behind them. SPAA sent its editor of Precision Ag News Emma leonard along. Here is what she had to say…

This year for the first time the ICPA ran concurrently with InfoAg. While the ICPA provides a window to the latest research on PA, InfoAg has more practical, political and industry presentations and a comprehensive trade show.

More details from these events will be published in Precision Ag News but here are a few overarching impressions.

Research into new tools and applications seems to have plateaued. Sensor integration, data collection from satellites and UAVs, systems for sharing big data and PA education were some of the areas where progress is occurring.

At InfoAg I was surprised that the only on-the-go sensor on display was a machine carrying pH, EC and soil carbon sensors from Veris. No weed or nitrogen sensors.

There were many new companies and brands offering data integration and decision support services. While some of these were smaller companies several included major players such as IBM, Iteris, Bosch and Verizon a major provider of wireless solutions.

In her closing address at InfoAg Lisa Prassack encouraged us all to capitalise on these new entrants to the PA space by working with them to understand the problems to which we want solutions. Come and hear more from Lisa at the 19th Precision Agriculture Symposium where she is the international keynote speaker.