Communicating Innovations in Precision Agriculture: Factsheet Series

This project aims;

  • To increase the effective use and adoption of precision agriculture (PA) systems by grain growers across Australia, however predominantly in South Australia
  • To ensure that PA users are continuously challenged and engaged with up-to-date and relevant information,
  • To ensure that new users of PA are supported into their journies with farm innovations and
  • To broaden the application of precision agriculture to ensure farm business triple bottom line goals are achieved and technologies are best applied in efficient and correct manner.

SPAA supports innovation, and innovation also includes people. SPAA being a trusted source of independent PA information will provide this support and access to explain the capabilities of a range of PA innovations that are applied across the grains industry through the production of six (6) factsheets and promoting such using a myriad of extension methodologies and placing the products onto the SPAA website for ease of access. The project will look at a range of innovative practices and systems specifically machinery and equipment, and techniques, and will also address the capacity to innovate to ensure that PA information outcomes are targeted and delivered in a timely and effective manner. The topics will be decided by industry for industry.
 
The key features of the factsheets will be the tried and tested experiences, where SPAA will profile successful adopters of the “said” innovation. These case studies may include how they overcame challenges and common issues. A focus on shared experiences will assist in implementation and adoption and top tips will ensure the industry remains engaged and involved.
In addition to the factsheet, the products will be promoted through the successful SPAA extension and communications formula of varied methods to convey PA information through events, social media mediums, the SPAA website and precision ag news (magazine).
Thus, the project will create a sense of optimism amongst the farming community by;
- adding value to the PA industry
- provide tools & resources that support the agricultural industry
  • build networks and mentors.

Background

For growers to adopt PA practices it is critical that they and too their farm adviser/agronomist understands the benefits of PA and provides advice about how PA applications can be used to make better agronomic decisions and sustainably improve crop yields.

An effective medium in such is the shared experience of innovation, told through a factsheet. SPAA will produce six (6) factsheets that will be made available through the SPAA website, SAGIT extension medium and Ag Ex Alliance (to distribute via the farming systems groups). These “how to guides” will include case studies, and tips whilst providing up to date information to help farmers make informed decisions and enjoy the positive outcomes that comes with achieving success in deliver what the technology / innovations promises to do .

The intent of this project is to increase capacity and implement ideas such that in subsequent years SPAA is further equipped to provide PA support to growers and provide a peer support network building community.

Step 1: Survey to identify factsheet topics:

As a membership organisation supported by sponsors; SPAA, SAGIT and the grains industry as a whole needs to understand the needs and wants of both of these groups before it can develop the most appropriate topics/ themes of the factsheet series.

This will involve working with experienced communication writers and the SPAA Executive Officer to collate and review the information SPAA already holds about members and sponsors needs and wants. For example, membership and sponsor data from the past 5 to 10 years, feedback from Expos (delegate and exhibitor/sponsor), web analytics, requests to join or leave the E-news circulation etc.

This activity would be complimented by short (max 10 minutes) telephone or face to face survey, with questions developed with the Executive Officer.

The proposed audience to be surveyed would be:

  • current and recent committee members (max 10);
  • current and recent sponsors (max 10);
  • about 40 members
  • about 20 industry personnel (eg resellers, consultants); and
  • about 20 recent former SPAA members.
  • The selected group to give a spread of regions (Lower and Upper EP, Northern and Yorke, Mallee and South East) as well as like environments on the Southern and Western grain growing regions.

Questions would relate to current challenges, PA information needs and desired activities and outputs as well as personal objectives from being involved with SPAA. It is anticipated that linkages across regions will prevail.

The six topics as selected by you are;

Step 2: Factsheet development and production

A three part process including the following tasks.

(a) Editorial and Production

(b) Design and Layout

(c) Printing

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