Budget boost for farmers
SELF-STEERING machinery has become an important part of agriculture and as part of the Federal Budget the government has announced $64million to improve the accuracy of GPS data to within 5cm.
Ainsworth Motors Chinchilla dealer principal Gerard Bellgrove said the technology was already in use in the region and the funding could open up access for more landholders.
"Farmers are adopting precision agriculture very quickly, including our area,” he said.
Mr Bellgrove said the GPS worked through a base station network in the area.
"Instead of being like the GPS in your car which can be a metre accurate, our base stations get our customers down to one inch of accuracy, so that's what currently is in place.”
While he didn't know how long it would take to roll out, Mr Bellgrove said the important thing was that the funding could enable farmers to access the technology at a lower cost than current options, which in turn would reduce costs and increase efficiency.
"It enables them to do different farming practices and ... cost-saving things. They stop overlapping - they're not double planting, double spraying, missing bits which grow weeds - so it enables them to save money, save cost, save time,” he explained.
"It also is easier on the farmers because the machines steer themselves, so they haven't got to concentrate on steering all day. The machine does it itself and does it a lot more accurately than a human.
"And that's why the government has brought it in - it will make farming more efficient, so make food production better.
"It's pretty good news for farmers, especially if they can access this technology for cheaper.”