A two-day touch and feel workshop was hosted by John Deere with 11 small Australian grain farming businesses. This group of participants discussed the feasibility of using yield data for good decision practices into the future.

The leading question asked by John Deere representatives to the 11 participants was: What is the biggest barrier holding your business back from entering precision agriculture? 

Questions raised by the 11 participants included: 

  • Is it worth investing time sitting in front of a computer to get such a small improvement in yield?
  • Generations before us have done the hard yards and made the 20%, 10% and 5% gains, can precision agriculture get us the 1-2% gains? 
  • How to get all the available technology to mesh together – you should be able to just push buttons?
  • How do you work out which paddocks to invest in and which ones do not need additional investment?
  • How do you keep your old man up with new technology? 
  • It can be really complicated, where do we get the training to figure it all out and get it to work properly?
  • If we can’t see that we are going to get value out of the investment, then what is the point? 
Comments after two days of evaluation
  • Nice to see the Exactifyer work in rolling country and utilise rate control spray technology.
  • Tractors with their own weather stations are fantastic.
  • Section control over a lot of hectares will result in significant savings.
  • After 15-16 hours on a tractor you miss turns and that will leave teardrops where weeds will grow.
  • Looking at return on investment, we currently run two tractors but could reduce this to one with a single driver.
  • Maintenance on a single machine each year would be a saving.

Content Sources and Further Information

Precision ag technology