Precision agriculture (PA) and farm mapping are key strategies to maximise yield but can often be a complicated subject for farmers to get their head around.
The South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) have released their precision agriculture ‘Mapping Basics 101’ online booklet to help ease some confusion.
SEPWA Project Officer Nigel Metz says it’s a basic, introductory guide to help farmers better understand the system.
“That mapping basics 101 pamphlet was really about giving people some basic skills in electronic mapping or geographic information systems so they could then embark on some basic IT skills that would enable them to map more effectively,” says Mr Metz.
“The whole concept of a map is about communicating information so you can go to a place or provide a prescribed management for a place or test something in that location.”
He says the system is mainly used in cropping because the new machinery is already built with the technology attached but the concept is one that could easily apply to all agriculture.
Finding value in the time it takes to understand the complexity of PA mapping can be a clutch point for farmers, so that’s where the mapping basics 101 comes in.
“It’s a communication tool to get management on the ground… and obviously that has a lot of benefits,” he says.
The bottom line is all-important to farmers and maximising yield and profit is crucial.
It’s difficult to blanket measure success as each farm is different and each farmer will use the technology for different processes, from testing nitrogen levels or to aid soil tests, it’s not just restricted to yield totals.
All that farmers with newer machinery need to do is purchase a software package or utilise free sites such as Google Earth and resources such as the mapping basics help sheet.
The pamphlet can be found here.