One of the biggest grains producers on the Southern Downs, Rod Petersen, will represent the region at the 2016 Australian Summer Grains Conference, reports Sophie Lester of WarwickDailyNews.com.
Petersen, along with his sons, Scott and Wayne, runs Petersen Grains in Killarney with an area of 1750ha and on farm grain storage of 2500 tonnes.
The third-generation farmer was invited to speak at the conference to share his innovative ideas with fellow growers.
“I was invited on a grains trade mission to Korea two years ago, where I gave a presentation to buyers on precision agriculture,” Petersen said.
“The fellas I was with thought I did alright and wanted me to give a talk at the conference. The address will be around precision farming, which covers a pretty broad field, but basically involves using technology to control and record what you do, and work out results profits and yield from that.”
Petersen said precision farming has involved using yield mapping and GPS technology to help analyse data to maximise yield.
“I would definitely say there aren’t enough growers in the region taking advantage of it,” he said.
“It is more for broader scale farmers because it is pretty expensive to get into and it’s a new cutting edge sort of thing so we’re still learning and there’s hasn’t been a huge uptake,” he said. “We can put different rates of fertiliser out into paddock and automatically record where we put them and then at harvest time record the yield and analyse the rates on office computer and repeat that over many paddocks and use that method for various trials.
“Once you get a certain area size though, the benefits definitely outweigh the cost.”
Petersen said he had travelled to Europe, Asia and the United States in recent years and said there was something to learn from overseas agriculture.