Emerging technology and precision agriculture
This guide summarises useful information developed by the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) Phase 1 projects from 2014-2017, and where to find it. These resources are relevant to all major vegetable growing regions in Australia. The resources developed includes fact sheets (51), case studies (12), videos and apps (36), e-newsletters (32 editions), as well as demonstration site information. The main topics covered by these resources include crop management, pest and disease management, and soil, nutrition and compost.
All the resources in this guide can be found on this project website.
The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects provide R&D extension services, products and communication on improved soil management and plant health to the Australian vegetable industry.
From 2014 to 2017, RMCG and AHR have delivered the projects for Horticulture Innovation Australia. Phase 1 of the projects have now been completed. So, what’s been achieved?
Schreurs & Sons and the Soil Wealth ICP team have partnered to explore the application of precision agriculture in celery, leek and baby leaf production systems. The demonstration site is located at Adam’s Cora Lynn farm, about 80km south-east of Melbourne.
We're aiming to improve nutrition, irrigation and drainage management, and insect pest and beneficial monitoring as a basis for soil and crop health. To achieve this, we’ve used technology like EM38 mapping, gridded soil sampling, variable rate fertiliser spreading, remote monitoring insect pest and beneficial identification traps with cameras, as well as drones.
Read this case study to find out more about the exciting developments and results over the past 12-months.
Strip-tillage for vegetables and potatoes with Steve Peterson (USA) and Ben Pogiolli (webinar recording)
Hear from industry experts on how strip-till will save you fuel and time, increase soil organic matter, reduce erosion and compaction, and how fertilisers can be banded at multiple depths.
Listen to this podcast, the second in a series, by VegNET Industry Development Officer, Theresa Chapman.
The Soil Wealth and ICP project is scanning global technologies to bring you some of the most interesting and practical advances in weed management. Most new technology for controlling weeds will be a positive step forward for soil health and the environment, and will play an important role in our fight against herbicide resistant weeds.
This global scan and review provides guidance on non-selective fallow paddock weed control, as well as selective In-crop weed control, and delivery technology.
Future focus – robotics and intelligent systems in Australian vegetable production systems (webinar recording)
Robotics and intelligent systems are used throughout various agricultural industries to control, monitor and improve farming systems. The development of various systems to aid in increasing the economic performance of farms is prevalent in both Australia and internationally.
Watch this informative and interactive one-hour session to get the latest updates from vegetable industry experts, including leaders from the University of Sydney, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and DataFarming.
Read this update from the VG16009 project team being led by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Highlights include findings and next steps from the demonstration sites in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Hort Innovation supports research in sensing and digital technologies to improve irrigation decision-making for vegetable producers.
Identifying new ways to optimise irrigation is key to the ongoing success and sustainability of irrigated farming in Australia.
The rise of agricultural technology is seeing tailored farming solutions that marry microclimate sensors with data intelligence to provide accurate insight into the crop and soil water balance. By providing real-time information about what is happening in each crop, these emerging technologies can help growers make faster, more accurate irrigation decisions by backing up gut feel with hard evidence.
This levy-funded project aims to assist vegetable growers to implement precision technologies (VG16009). A key element is demonstrating what precision technologies are commercially available to assist in horticulture with identifying and understanding crop variability.
The Precision Agriculture Research Group from the University of New England and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries recently published a number of articles in the WA Grower magazine.
Read these articles to get an update on mapping variation at harvest and yield prediction of vegetable crops.
DataFarming’s innovative software platform is backed by over 20 years of hands on experience solving agricultural problems in the real world.
Through cloud-based systems, farm data, and satellite technology, DataFarming deliver simple data solutions to drive farm productivity across all production factors, gaining valuable insights into the agricultural industry.
Created through the Horticulture Innovation Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney's internationally-recognised Australian Centre for Field Robotics, RIPPA aims to benefit the vegetable industry by automating a number of existing farm management tasks.
Six years ago, Rob Hinrichsen and his team at Kalfresh decided to focus on four key practices – controlled tra c, cover crops, soil biology and compost – to improve the soil health across their farms. The main drivers were to improve crop yield and quality, as well as the sustainability of the business.
Rob’s emphasis on softer tillage, boosting organic matter with compost and cover crops has helped the soil recover and support a healthy population of beneficial soil organisms. Rob supplements the naturally occurring biology by using specific beneficial organisms to improve the robustness of his farming system.
This case study provides insights into some of the main changes involving controlled traffic, cover crops and compost at the Kalfresh demonstration site in Queensland.
Precision agriculture (or PA) uses a combination of new technology and existing agronomic knowledge to maximise farm efficiency.
Watch the recording of this one-hour interactive session facilitated by the National Vegetable Extension Network (VegNET) in Victoria (N, W, SE regions) and Tasmania, funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.
Hear from Rob Hinrichsen of Kalfresh in QLD about using controlled traffic in commercial vegetable production systems.
This video captures Rob's experiences with the technology achieving 'growing zones' and 'driving zones', the benefits of reduced tillage down from 11-12 passes to 2-3 passes, the costs of transitioning the cultivation system, as well as how the business piloted the technology before making the big change.
Will a potential change to soil management increase profit? How do we assess whether a change we’ve already made was profitable? One way to answer these questions is to use a ‘partial budget’. A partial budget assesses additional revenue and reduced revenue, additional costs and reduced costs to work out the net change in profit. A partial budget only includes items that change.
An on farm trial tests the yield or economic effect of a management treatment on an agricultural system. This information can then form the basis for wider application of the treatment in other parts of the farm. Precision Agriculture (PA) tools offer a simple and effective means to implement and measure such trials as part of a normal farming operation. This booklet uses working examples of how PA tools have enabled growers to measure the economic returns of treatments to help them with whole farm decisions.
Crop sensing is allowing the adoption of variable rate management to address yield variability, improve management of inputs and maximise productivity.
Check out how precision farming techniques are being adapted to vegetable production.
A summary of the importance of soil, soil science and good soil management from a Victorian perspective.
Ed Windley and Ben Moore are vegetable growers from Kalbar, Queensland. In conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Ed and Ben are trialling new practices such as controlled traffic and variable rate applications to maximise efficiency on their farms.
This helpful fact sheet outlines the key information required to get the best out of your chemical application.
A reduced till system on this Cowra vegetable farm delivered soil, cost and crop benefits.
NSW farmers, Ed and James Fagan explain how they developed a reduced tillage vegetable farming operation in Cowra, NSW.
Reduced till is a system change that relies on keeping the soil in a healthy condition through the use of permanent beds, controlled traffic, cover cropping and crop rotations rather than frequent cultivation.