Meet our new project officer

SPAA (the) Society of Precision Agriculture Australia is pleased to announce its newest appointment with Ms Kristin Murdock as the association’s new PA project officer.

SPAA Executive officer Dr Nicole Dimos said, “This exciting position established by SPAA is the result of having to meet the demands of the industry. We are seeing tremendous growth in PA nationally, and this opportunity requires SPAA to revisit its communication and extension strategy; from increasing our online presence, to hosting more events across Australia as more and more industries are realising the benefits of PA”.

Ms Murdock hails from Warooka, SA, and has worked in agriculture and rural communications for much of her career, specifically project management in the grains sector and natural resource management, where she gained valuable skills in identifying industry issues, working with industry to deliver relevant information, as well as reporting and presenting outcomes to wider audiences.  She comes to the organisation with experience and enthusiasm ready to step up from a regional level role to take on this new challenge with a focussed area of agriculture.

SPAA President Jessica Koch said “Her skills as a professional writer having worked with regional newspapers, as a published author and a classroom teacher will be a great benefit to this role. This diverse role requires a passionate person to communicate with exceptional skills both verbally and print in an engaging manner. Kristin’s experience meets this prerequisite for SPAA”.

Ms Murdock said “I’m excited to take on the role. Promoting PA to a wider audience will be a challenge, but an important one to showcase that SPAA is a national group with the interests of all agricultural industries and regions. I’m looking forward to meeting the many farmers, researchers, industry groups and companies actively aiming to progress farming operations through precision agriculture and to explore the opportunities with many agricultural sector across Australia. With their input, I aim to ensure SPAA continues to provide relevant, easily accessible and up – to – date information.”

In addition to enhancing the SPAA brand on its new website and across digital media and preparing grower profiles, Ms Murdock will be busy on the road organising events across Australia advocating the latest information available in precision agriculture (PA) and delivering relevant and timely information to landholders and industry across the range of agricultural commodities.

“Kristin is extremely passionate in accepting the roles and is looking forward to working on promoting the benefits of precision agriculture (PA) and the SPAA brand and will be of a great asset to the organisation” said Nicole. This hands-on role will encompass relationship building and servicing, growing the membership base, marketing co-ordination to increase the national branding of SPAA.

Kristin can be contacted via email on kristin@spaa.com.au and commences her role with SPAA on 16th May and will be working Wednesday to Friday.

Factsheet on UAVs

The agricultural sector sees SPAA as a trusted source of PA information, and the production of factsheets led to new knowledge, on-going support and highlights the importance of these tools as part of their business and continues to create a network for farmers and the private sector to work together and share knowledge.With thanks to SAGIT, the project produced a total of six factsheets and one poster across a range of topics, of innovations where farmers felt the information was too over-whelming or possibly not easy to attain. The factsheets were a snapshot of tools currently on the market of which adoption is in part low or interest is high.

The key features of the factsheets were the tried and tested experiences, where SPAA profiled successful adopters of the “said” innovations. These case studies included some tips and advise, how they overcame challenges and common issues.

Our final factsheet on UAVs in agriculture in now available. Download your copy here

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