Virtual Bus Tour: Showcasing the opportunities of precision agriculture across South Australia

What we will do

SPAA is calling all farmers to strap themselves in, and all aboard the “Virtual Bus Tour”, an online resource showcasing local growers, their farming practices with a focus with precision agricultural tools and technologies.

South Australia is synonymous for being a diverse food production region growing cereal and livestock (typically dryland) as well as horticultural and viticultural produce (irrigated agriculture), and each ‘farm stop on the virtual tour’ features a grower from an important industry sector to the region describing to the viewer around their farm, talking about specific precision agriculture tools identified through engagement with local industry groups and industry experts, technologies and methodologies they have implemented and the benefits observed.

Specifically we will endeavour to demonstrate that the application of precision agricultural tools and techniques is a viable and economically rewarding means of lifting productivity, by providing land managers with the confidence and skills to undertake sustainable farm practices. The project will;

  • Increase awareness of production and sustainability issues associated with grains and livestock production, as well as viticulture and horticultural businesses  through application of appropriate inputs (seed, chemical, fertiliser and water) for each identified land zone,
  • Increase adopting of best practices via operation of precision agriculture methodologies and concepts for example weed and pest and disease control, using drones and remote sensing tools to collect important farm data, telemetrysystems for stock watering,
  • Provide advice on identification of problem soils in attempt to avoid further soil degradation and declining productivity,
  • Showcase new innovations applicable to our farming systems that aim to improve on-farming efficiencies
  • Provide advice to manage and protect cropping land from erosion using better targeted, strategic applications of farm inputs and techniques.
  • Increase landholder knowledge and accountability in land management.

The case studies will be presented in an interactive website landing page (it will be available to the organisations sustainable agriculture projects page) whereby you click on the “bus pin” to visit a farmer. This producer will share their story in either a downloadable case study, question and answer on zoom (with photo gallery), or video around the property. The interviews shall take no longer than 5 minutes to read/ watch as research indicates strong engagement with short, sharp messaging. The producer will share top tips and key learnings and benefits and strategies/ steps for implementation.

Community Benefits

It will provide a valuable resource to farmers and community, so you can see firsthand how growers are farming in a proactive, sustainable and environmentally integrated way. It is estimated over 200 individual farm businesses will be immediately impacted. Our stories will also offer a comparison between the irrigated agricultural industries to the dryland farming systems across the region.

The virtual bus tour offers an innovative way to build capacity amongst the agricultural community. With the challenges of the current COVID pandemic, being able to easily go on tour to visit and see first-hand producer examples of best management practices, SPAA is excited to have your join our tour remotely in the comfort of your couch.

The project also has opportunity to impact outside the four regions showcased with a number of applications submitted for across the various Landscape SA boards to detail a story of PA applications and adoption across different industries, different climatic environments and landscapes.

The virtual tours have the potential to include sustainable agriculture, innovative water resource management, and weed control.

Where we visit?

The virtual bus tour will visit propoerties in Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Limestone Coast and Riverland/ Murraylands Landscape SA regions.

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