Last week, members of the AUSVEG Engagement and Extension team attended a workshop and farm walk conducted by the Soil Wealth/Integrated Crop Protection team at Schreurs & Sons’ Cora Lynn farm, just outside of Koo Wee Rup, VIC.

The workshop focused on ‘exploring the application of precision agriculture’, and looked at trials implemented over the last 12 months in Schreurs & Sons’ celery, leek and baby leaf production systems.

The aim of the trial site is to improve nutrition, irrigation and drainage management and insect monitoring as a basis for soil and crop health. To achieve this, they have used technology like EM38 mapping, gridded soil sampling, variable rate fertiliser spreading, remote insect monitoring and drones.

Attendees heard from grower Adam Schreurs and agronomist Stuart Grigg about how the trials have affected the crops, and were able to see these technologies in use during the farm walk. Attendees also saw progress photos of the trial site and ask industry experts questions about the application of these precision agriculture technologies on their farm.

Key messages that the group took from the farm walk were:

  • Gridded and pre-plant soil testing allowed more detailed understanding of where nutrients are available to the plant;
  • Development of a nutrition program and variable rate spreading enabled precise nutrition application across smaller areas; and
  • Yield assessment showed higher average celery heart weights and more uniformity across the trial block.

For more information about the Koo Wee Rup trial site, please visit the Soil Wealth website.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 16 April 2019. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!