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Precision agriculture and sugarcane production – a case study from the Burdekin region of Australia

Code: 9781838795924
R. G. V. Bramley, CSIRO, Australia; T. A. Jensen, University of Southern Queensland, Australia; A. J. Webster, CSIRO, Australia; and A. J. Robson, University of New England, Australia

Chapter synopsis: Precision agriculture (PA) involves the use of spatial information about crop performance and the biophysical characteristics of the production system at the field and sub-field scale, to optimise agronomic management decisions. This chapter uses the case study of a 26.7 ha field in the Burdekin sugarcane-growing region of Australia to illustrate how PA technologies might be used to enhance sugarcane production; in this case, a saving of A$330/ha in gypsum application costs through the use of variable-rate application (VRA). The chapter examines potential future prospects for further development of sugarcane PA including improved variable-rate fertiliser equipment, on-the-go sensing of commercial cane sugar (CCS) at harvest, detection and spot spraying of weeds, and a reduced risk of detrimental environmental impacts from sugarcane production through recognition that, under uniform management, areas that are low yielding have low efficiencies of fertiliser use and so may have increased risk of nutrient loss off-site.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0035.15
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Yield monitoring and mapping 3 Remote and proximal sensing 4 High-resolution soil survey and digital elevation modelling 5 Data analysis and integration 6 Opportunities for targeted management and the cost: benefit ratio of PA implementation 7 Environmental imperatives 8 Future prospects 9 Conclusion 10 Where to look for further information 11 Acknowledgements 12 References

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