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Potential Of Precision Agriculture

Potential of Precision Agriculture


Pictured (left to right): Veris MSP mapping soil pH and EC in a corn crop, Glen Gamble (Left) and Eric Hillbrich (Right) examining the results of a pH survey in the field.

You may think it a big leap for a company specialising in irrigation design and cadastral survey to start offering precision agriculture mapping services, but to Onleys, it makes perfect sense. With more than 30 years’ experience dealing with spatial data in an agricultural landscape, Onleys are well placed to guide farmers through what some have called,’ the next great agricultural revolution’.

Imagine dividing up one of your farm paddocks into 10m x 10m sections and then recording everything that happened within each section over one year. I’m talking about every sowing event, every fertiliser application, every spray application, every weather event, every kg of grain harvested, every… you get the point. Now let’s soil test all those 10m x 10m grids for soil pH, electrical conductivity and organic matter and while we’re at it, let’s check for soil compaction and build an elevation map for checking drainage potential and aspect. Now let’s imagine we record all this information for more than just one year, let’s do it for ten and instead of just recording all this information on one paddock, let’s do it across the whole farm… no wait, let’s do it across every farm… in the world. You can stop imagining, as this stuff has been happening in the USA for years and Onleys are rolling out these services to farmers in northern Victoria right now.

I challenge you to stop and think about what could be done with this kind of data set. How would you like to know the most profitable wheat variety to sow, on what date it should be sown, with what machinery and management practise, for your soil type and your seasonal climate outlook, based on ten years of real world trials across millions of hectares? You can forget about field trials on a few paddocks spread throughout a region, the whole district will be one constant field trial.

Onleys have invested in SST Software to assist in the management of spatial data from any flavour of ag hardware you can throw at us. This software will allow us to take care of your valuable data and provide you and/or your agronomist with clear, easy to understand maps that will assist with decision making.

The jewel in the crown of SST Software is the free IPad application Sirrus which can be used to record and view activities in the field. Scouting records, recommendations or applied logs created within Sirrus can all be synced with SST’s server in the USA the next time the IPad has access to the internet via Wifi or mobile network. If the grower has an AgSync relationship with Onleys, this data can be used to populate sowing, harvest, fertiliser and cost reports just to name a few.

By examining the paddock in greater detail farmers are able to start seeing where they’re making money and in some cases, where they’re losing it. Using variable rate control files provided by Onleys, landholders can then potentially treat each 10m x 10m area within the paddock individually with the aim of boosting the overall profitability of any paddock.

To enquire further about how Onleys precision agriculture services contact Eric on (03) 5821 7171 or email

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