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Future Trends in Precision Agriculture: A look into the future of agricultural equipment

Author: James Hassall
Organisation: Nuffield Australia farming scholars
Publish Date: January 2010
Country: Australia
Sector: Agriculture
Method: Foresight
Theme: Futures
Type: Report
Language: English
Tags: Precision agriculture, PA, Future agricultural technology, Global Positioning System (GPS), Satellite navigation systems, Autosteer system performance data, Boomsprays, Automated agricultural equipment, Field robotics

The concept of Precision Agriculture (PA) has emerged over the past 15 years with the introduction of new electronic equipment which has allowed farmers to increase the efficiency of their operations and develop new farming practices. However, the investment in PA equipment represents a significant financial outlay and as with all „high-tech‟ equipment it can become superseded relatively quickly and therefore does not tend to hold its capital value. When deciding what equipment to purchase farmers need to understand the capabilities of currently available equipment as well as the likely evolution of the technology in order to „future proof‟ their investment. This report looks at a number of technologies that are being used on a commercial basis in agriculture today and the research that is being conducted by universities into the technology of tomorrow along with some recommendations based on my observations. They include: satellite navigation and steering systems, standardisation of PA equipment and data, better boomsprays and automation of agricultural equipment.
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