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80 per cent of broadacre farmers are using precision ag technology

AUSTRALIAN farmers are leading the world in adopting precision agriculture technology, according to Case IH, one of the main players in the technology.

Rob Johnson, Case IH regional marketing manager for precision solutions, says take-up has been consistent across all states, and while up to 80 per cent of broadacre farmers use it, it’s not just for large grain growers with large units.

He said horticulturists, fruit, vegetable and sugarcane farmers are also taking advantage of precision agriculture technology, having it professionally fitted to their 60-100 horsepower tractors.

He’s also noticed two particular trends in 2015.

“While the initial adoption of precision agriculture was in spraying, now its use for spreading fertiliser and sowing has grown, too” he said.

“We’ve seen growth of 20 per cent this year of Australian farmers adopting solutions for rate and section control.

“This is when during sowing you can switch your implement on or off as you pass over a certain area, thus reducing input costs.

“There’s a constant focus by farmers towards higher efficiency, and precision agriculture is certainly one tool to achieve that.”

The second trend Mr Johnson said he noticed was increased accuracy in placement.

“Compared with previous years, there’s been a 30 per cent increase in Australian farmers this year adopting RTK with 2.5-centimetre accuracy,” he said.

“RTK” stands for “Real Time Kinematic” satellite navigation, and it boosts the precision of position data that comes from satellite-based positioning systems.

Mr Johnson said there were two reasons driving the strong uptake of innovations and technology. “Australian farmers tend to be early adopters of new technology, and there have been big offers from manufacturers this year.”

(Source – http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/machine/per-cent-of-broadacre-farmers-are-using-precision-ag-technology/story-fnkerd2w-1227312483059)

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