Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Precision Agriculture
17 education & extension precision agriculture ground cover the modules are being tested with Pa grower groups and will be released officially at the annual Pa symposium in albury, nsW, in september. after that they will be available from the grDc and acPa. tertiary-level learning if the benefits of Pa are to be capitalised on it is essential that it is integrated into the agricultural curriculum. the tertiary education course has been designed to be flexible enough for teaching institutions to modify sections to suit local industries and software ownership and to include local data where it is available. the course consists of 24 one-hour lectures, 12 two-hour practical sessions based in the computer laboratory or around student presentations, and a three-day field trip. the use of local data is encouraged, but example data is provided for all exercises. the field trip would be designed with local or regional enterprises in mind and would include visits to and discussions with growers and agronomists using Pa and with equipment suppliers. Key learning outcomes for the course are the ability to: n clearly articulate how Pa can be beneficial in production, environmental and supply chain systems; n demonstrate an understanding of the principles, applications and limitations of Pa technology; n exhibit an understanding of transforming raw spatial data into useful data (maps); and n synthesise spatial data into agronomic decisions. the outline of the course was sent to 11 australian universities that teach courses on temperate or Mediterranean agronomy, seeking their interest in using the course material. Positive responses were received from seven institutions. as material has been developed it has been tested in the course on managing ecosystems at the university of sydney and some material was distributed to other universities for appraisal. Feedback was incorporated and the course material will be made available to universities, colleges and taFes. □ grdc research codes us00036 and us00037 more information: dr Brett whelan, senior research fellow, Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture, 02 9351 2947, firstname.lastname@example.org www.grdc.com.au/US00036, www.grdc.com.au/US00037 two sets of pa training material are aBout to Be launched. Table 1 PA training modules for the grains industry module title a an introduction to precision agriculture for australian grains B global navigation satellite systems and precision agriculture c hardware for precision agriculture d software for precision agriculture e data management for precision agriculture f making and interpreting maps for precision agriculture g Yield variability and site-specific crop management h economics of precision agriculture in australian grains flexible aPProach to Pa education Two sets of training material have been developed to assist the adoption of precision agriculture at all levels as its title suggests, precision agriculture (Pa) is of great interest to the researchers working at the australian centre for Precision agriculture (acPa) at the university of sydney. Professor alex McBratney and Dr Brett Whelan and their colleagues at the centre have been instigating research on Pa since 1995. Despite working with many students, agronomists, individual growers, farming groups and agribusinesses, they were acutely aware of the lack of formal training material for the practical application of Pa. the team is now in the final stages of delivering two sets of training material – one targeted at the australian grains and Pa industries and the other to tertiary-level education. pa modules for the grains industry this series of eight training and learning modules (table 1) has been designed to provide information on the main topics required in the adoption and use of Pa by grain growers, agronomists and researchers. it also provides a valuable source of information for suppliers of Pa equipment. individuals can delve to the level of detail they require in any subject and topic from each module. the modules are designed as a resource for individual education, for use in developing training workshops or combining with established training materials. users can choose the combination of subjects, specific topics and appropriate level of information in each to suit the knowledge of the trainees and the specific goal of a training program. each module focuses on a particular Pa subject area and is delivered in four sections: n basic information – an overview of the important topics in the subject; n advanced information – a more comprehensive treatment of the subject including expanded detail on the important topics; n FaQs – common questions, exercises and handy tips; and n supplementary information and archive – reference material to provide further detail or background knowledge if required. the material in the basic, advanced and FaQs sections is provided in ‘open access’ form. the text, figures and tables can be extracted and used in other presentation formats.
GC Supplement - Biosecurity
GC Supplement - Climate