AgriBusiness April 2019

“New technology in farming is a given, but it’s been great to see the next generation of farmers really embracing the products on offer to plan ahead for challenging years.” “Fallow spraying is a great way of controlling weeds in the summer and making the most of late season rain,” Mitch said. “The GRDC and CSIRO have demonstrated, in their recent research, that improved summer fallowmanagement, including weed management and stubble retention can lead to a 60 per cent increase in grain yield. “The results also show that a legume break crop, following two consecutive cereal crops, can lead to an increase of between 16 and 83 per cent.” The use of variable rate technology is also recommended, as it allows farmers to gain a bigger picture understanding of how every acre of their property is functioning and responding to intervention, in good times, and bad. “Soil sampling, using variable rate technology, is highly recommended for those who are looking to save money and time,” Mitch said. “Taking a blanket approach to the management of soil nutrition can lead to unreliable results and less of a return from inputs.” Mitch said he has recommended WEEDIt in the past, a spot spraying system that pinpoints plants, because it is very precise. “This precision approach helps with resistance and reduces the overuse of sprays, which saves time, money and the environment.” The results from the GRDC and CSIRO research also revealed that by matching nitrogen supply to the soil type it is possible to achieve a yield increase of up to 91 per cent. “A lot of harvesters are collecting grid data using infrared imaging now, which is assisting farmers with soil sampling, and variable rate spreaders make it easy for farmers to adapt their fertilizer regimes to the needs of specific soil types,” Mitch said. “When you start to put all of these things together you get a good understanding of your entire property, and the unique needs for each area.” Mitch said that it’s promising to see so many farmers now embracing technologies that allow them to make calculated decisions about their farming approach through the collection of data. “New technology in farming is a given, but it’s been great to see the next generation of farmers really embracing the products on offer to plan ahead for challenging years,” Mitch said. “There was a disconnect for a while there, when agricultural technology companies were making great products but farmers just weren’t using them. “Now we’re seeing an increase in adoption of precision agriculture as the farmers, who have grown up with digital technology, start to take over the management of their farms and this technology becomes more accessible. “The latest research has proven that preventative management increases water use efficiency and we are fortunate to have the technology that allows us to do this. The positive impact of water retention should not be underestimated or forgotten.” For more information about the management techniques and crop models used by the CSIRO in their researching water use efficiency for increased grain yield study go to csiro.au 31 APRIL 2019 GLENCORE AGRICULTURE | AGRIBUSINESS MAGAZINE TECHNOLOGY

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