Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Precision Agriculture 2005
15 PROTEIN <7 7-8 8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 >17 % 150 300 450 600 metres The ACPA team and local farmers have been working with two international col- laborators to modify and calibrate such an instrument for Australian conditions. With the ability to monitor within- paddock variation in grain protein, yield and moisture content, farmers will have a chance to more closely monitor the actual use of nitrogen. A more complete economic analysis will be possible as quality (protein or oil content) can be incorporated into the calcu- lations for each area in the paddock. Gross margin, nitrogen uptake, nitro- gen-use efficiency and nitrogen export can be estimated and mapped using this data. Figure 2 shows the type of informa- tion obtained from a 70ha paddock in Gilgandra, NSW. The use of a protein monitor also offers the possibility for differentially harvest- ing or post-harvest grading of grain to fit particular receival standards or contract requirements. This is probably most suited to malting barley and specialised wheats such as durum and noodle varieties. Using quality monitors in this way would allow growers to move towards quality control and marketing on the whole farm (step four in the table below). WHOLE-FARM BENEFITS The use of PA in the farming system requires benefits to at least match the costs of gathering and using the information. In simple terms, the potential benefits of PA are an increase in quantity and/or quality of production and/or environmental man- agement along with a similar or decreased use of inputs. We could also benefit from long-term improvements in operability, product auditing, tracking and marketing, storage of knowledge relevant to enterprise man- agement and improvements in our overall contribution to rural communities. Many of the potential benefits are over- looked because they are difficult to quan- tify on the "money-metric". Collaboration between the ACPA, participating farmers and other PA teams is attempting to over- come this inadequacy. GRDC Precision Agriculture Initiative (SIP09) GRDC Research Code US00017 For more information: Brett Whelan, firstname.lastname@example.org Generalised steps to making progress with precision agriculture Steps Tools and techniques that PA can offer 1 Optimise average crop management Crop scouting and soil sampling tools, vehicle guidance and auto-steering, simple paddock experimentation tools 2 Determine the magnitude, extent and responsiveness of spatial and temporal variability Crop scouting and soil sampling tools, yield monitors, soil sensors and remote sensing, more advanced experimentation and analytical tools 3 Optimise the production input/output ratio for quantity and quality (to maximise gross margin and minimise the environmental footprint) Crop scouting and soil sampling tools, crop yield and quality monitors, soil sensors and remote sensing, vehicle guidance and auto-steering, advanced experimentation, analytical and decision support tools, variable-rate controllers 4 Output quality control and product marketing Crop quality monitors and segregation tools, variable-rate controllers, application map recording, electronic information tagging 5 Maintaining resource-base and operation information Crop scouting and soil sampling tools, mapping capabilities and specialised storage software GROUND COVER PRECISION AGRICULTURE Figure 1: A nitrogen fertiliser experiment laid out within paddock management classes, the resulting yield map and the responses from each class to the different nitrogen rates. N RATE PLOTS ACROSS THREE PADDOCK MANAGEMENT ZONES THE RESULTANT YIELD MAP 015 30 45 123 kg N/ha Value 0.9 - 1.1 1.2 - 1.3 1.4 - 1.6 1.7 - 1.8 1.9 - 2.0 2.1 - 2.2 2.3 - 2.5 2.6 - 2.7 2.8 - 2.9 3.0 - 3.1 t/ha N RESPONSE CURVES FOR THE THREE ZONES THIS YEAR Yield (t/ha) 3.5 - 3.0 - 2.5 - 2.0 - 1.5 - Class 1 Class 3 Class 2 - - - - - - 01 02 03 04 05 0 Applied (kg N/ha) WHEAT t/ha 1.12 - 1.52 1.53 - 1.93 1.94 - 2.33 2.34 - 2.73 2.74 - 3.14 3.15 - 3.54 3.55 - 3.94 3.95 - 4.35 4.36 - 4.75 4.76 - 5.15 150 300 450 600 metres GROSS MARGIN -80 - -60 -60 - -40 -40 - -20 -20-0 0-20 20-40 40-60 60-60 80-100 100 - 120 120 - 140 140 - 160 160 - 180 180 - 200 200 - 250 250 - 300 300 - 350 350 - 400 400 - 500 500 - 600 $/ha 150 300 450 600 metres Figure 2: Yield, protein and gross margin maps for a single paddock. Potential revenue calculated at each point using grain yield, protein and moisture.
GC Supplement - Nutrient Management 2006
GC Supplement - Grain Storage 2005