This year’s Precision Ag EXPO has once again given Tasmanian growers a great chance to see precision agriculture in action and learn more about how this rapidly evolving field can help increase on-farm productivity and profitability.

Hosted by the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group (TAPG) at the Hagley Farm School, the day featured a range of speakers, presentations and in-field demonstrations of the latest technology and processes helping growers maximise their production.

RIPPA in action

The Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application (RIPPA) was front and centre at the event, with a crowd of over 130 people gathering to hear an update from Justin Clarke from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), where he spoke about recent advances in crop mapping, decision support systems, individual plant metrics and plans for the development of automated variable rate spraying.

Attendees also had the chance to see RIPPA in action over the trial strip-tillage broccoli crop, and viewed some of the crop mapping outputs from what RIPPA ‘sees’ with its on-board sensors and cameras.

The RIPPA is the result of a years-long partnership between Hort Innovation and the ACFR, and is a production prototype that can be fitted with functional modules, such as applicators that can undertake autonomous spot spraying of weeds. If you’re in eastern Gippsland, take the chance to see the RIPPA in action this week at the Gippsland Growers’ Forum in Lindenow on Friday!

For more information about the RIPPA, please contact:

Carl Larsen
Senior Consultant, RMCG

Salah Sukkarieh
Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, University of Sydney

Experts and industry speakers

Other highlights from the event included speakers breaking down how precision agriculture and information-gathering can be used for practical decisions that directly affect grower profits and productivity. Simplot’s Frank Mulcahy explained how to employ yield research to zone farm sections by their productivity and make planting decisions, while Will Bignell from DroneAg discussed how to layer paddock data to form a holistic view of growing zones and the factors affecting their productivity.

Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Christian Patterson also spoke to attendees about the levy investments being made by Hort Innovation in research and development to benefit the industry. Click here to watch a video about Hort Innovation’s Fresh Potato Fund.

AUSVEG representatives were on hand during the day as well, with National TPP Coordinator Alan Nankivell giving an update on the tomato potato psyllid’s presence in Australia and Environment Coordinator Andrew Shaw talking to growers about the EnviroVeg program.

The TAPG Precision Ag EXPO continues to grow, so keep an eye out as we get closer to this time next year for news and how to get involved.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 24 April 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!