Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture seeks to improve or apply modern farming practices to make production more efficient. At its core it’s about supporting soils and farmers to work better, not harder.

A number of enabling technologies support precision agriculture, they include the:

  • global positioning system (GPS)
  • geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Variable-Rate Technology (VRT)
  • soil sensors and yield monitors which, with GPS, enable georeferenced records of yield to be collected ‘on-the-go’ during harvest.

These technologies help growers to observe, understand and manage the variability in their soils, crops, stock and production systems and tailor required inputs to desired outputs.

Projects

PIRSA, through Rural Solutions SA, is delivering projects that explore the degrees of variability in vegetable crop yields with case studies conducted on the northern Adelaide plains, Murray Mallee and Kangaroo Island.

Data collected using precision soil mapping technologies, satellite derived imagery and yield monitors fitted to crop harvesters will be collated and compared to identify the drivers of yield variability.

Projects are being delivered in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and Potatoes South Australia, with funding from Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and the South Australian Potato Industry Trust.

Veris soil pH and EC Mapping Service

PIRSA is providing soil pH and EC mapping technology to NRM Boards, farmer groups and individual farmers.

In 2015, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) purchased a Veris pH and EC mapping machine (MSP-3), from the USA.

The new mapping machine, with an experienced operator from Rural Solutions SA, is available for hire to measure and map the spatial variation of pH and EC on your farm, vineyard or horticultural block.

Rural Solutions SA soil consultants are regarded as leading experts in the treatment and management of soil acidity.

This new service combines expert advice with the latest mapping technology to deliver real cost savings and production improvements for those farming on acid soils.

The cost of mapping varies depending on the area to be mapped and the options selected but starts at $15 a hectare plus travel costs to and from the mapping site.

For more information, or to make a booking contact Andrew Harding at the PIRSA Clare Office on 8842 6231 or 0417 886 835 or e-mail: andrew.harding@sa.gov.au

View the Soil pH and EC Mapping Technology Brochure (PDF 96.3 KB)

Page Last Reviewed: 21 Sep 2017
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