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The report provides an estimate of the economic and social benefits of the use of augmented GNSS services in the agricultural sector.
To maintain competitiveness, it is essential that Australian agriculture continues to improve its productivity. Augmented GNSS services are part of meeting this challenge. The main adoption of precision agriculture in Australia to date has been in broad acre cropping (primarily wheat, barley, oats) and other crops such as cotton. This has been at 10 cm accuracy levels.
Wheat (12 per cent) is the next most important product after cattle. More than 87 per cent of grains farmers use some form of precision agriculture, including 79 per cent who use 10 cm accuracy GNSS positioning services. Productivity improvements are estimated to range between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of production costs. More precise positioning to 2 cm accuracy offers economic benefits in some other agricultural sectors:
Barriers to achieving high levels of adoption outside of grains and cotton include:
In the latter two cases, encouragement of early adopters and documentation of the financial benefits is likely to lead to a similar “S-curve” adoption pattern as that seen in grains over recent years. As well as economic benefits there are environmental benefits to the use of precise positioning in agriculture including:
The results show that industries in the agricultural sector grew as a result of improvements in productivity from the use of augmented GNSS in precision agriculture as well as in other industries: