This issue of Ground Cover includes a special on precision agriculture.
With most graingrowers adopting a wait-and-see approach to precision agriculture, the GDRC has initiated a five-year, $6.25 million national program to evaluate the various methods and provide education and training.
Nine research projects are underway across Australia to develop and demonstrate precision agriculture methods, including GPS positioning and guidance, yield monitors and variable rate applicators.
Although these methods can boost yields and economic returns, they are rarely used in Australia. The obstacles are many and varied, including growers not having the appropriate skills or the time to learn them, high set-up costs and a dearth of trained people to support growers.
It is hoped that by the end of the program in 2007-08 the research results will be widely reported and many more growers will be familiar with these technologies and methods.