This is the second edition of Cropping Systems for Sustainable Wheat Production, attractively produced with 132 full colour images providing up-to-date information for producers or anyone interested in the industry.
The importance of worker and environmental safety and hazard reduction is emphasised and a sample risk assessment template is included. There is a description of the precautions to take for the range of enterprise activities: from tractor work to handling and storing grain.
The advantages of technology such as Global positioning by satellite (GPS) and Differential GPS (DGPS) and Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) for the broadacre enterprise are explained.
GPS allows for “straight line” or tramline or controlled traffic farming (CTF) or the ability to geo-reference boundaries and points in a farm or paddock. DGPS is an even more accurate measurement of row spacing, as accurate as 10 cm and often used for CTF and RTK down to 2 cm and makes CTF easier to implement with inter-row sowing. GPS also has other advantages such as mapping the changes in yield throughout your paddock and so identifying areas where it is economic to apply more (or less) inputs such as ameliorants, seed, fertiliser or pesticides. The application of variable rate technology delivers fertiliser or herbicide in quantities as required by different sections of the paddock. This saves money and also protects the environment from unnecessarily heavy rates of product.
This technology can also be used to gather paddock data using remote sensing technologies such as from satellites or UAVs (Drones). Sensitivity of imagery collected this way can help identify problems occurring before the human eye can see them and can direct the grower to issues before they become too advanced and impact on productivity. It can direct you to issues in a particular paddock that need your attention before they become too advanced and impact on productivity.
Other technology described includes Green on brown weed sprays which use computers on sprayers to spray plants (weeds) on bare ground. It also includes the more sophisticated green on green technology where artificial intelligence fitted to cameras on sprayers allows herbicide application to specific weeds in a crop. Cameras scan the paddocks to recognise the weeds and then control the spraying in real time to spray only weeds and the dose required and not the whole paddock. This helps save money and protects the environment. Information from remote sensing devices locates the weed populations so that you know which paddocks to scan.
The advantages and issues with minimum or no-till, controlled traffic farming (CTF) and stubble retention are also discussed.