Some of the country's best precision agriculture dealers have received national recognition in the Ag Leader awards.
Taking out the Ag Leader Dealer of the Year award was Southern Precision, based at Naracoorte, South Australia.
Established in 2006, the business specialises in the sales, installation and support of high-quality precision and spraying technology and services used in the broadacre, horticulture, viticulture and construction sectors.
Advance Ag Technology, Swan Hill, Victoria, was recognised as the country's high-selling outlet for Ag Leader technology for the fifth consecutive year, while Ag Knowledge Australia, Dalby, Queensland, and Precision Control Australia, Bendigo, Victoria, were also recognised for outstanding sales performance.
Ag Knowledge Australia was established in 2000 to provide service and technical support for the AutoFarm steering system throughout Queensland, northern NSW, Northern Territory and the Kimberley region.
Following Ag Leader's acquisition of the GPS Ag dealer network and AutoFarm system in 2014, it became an Ag Leader dealership servicing the Darling Downs.
Ag Knowledge Australia director Scott MacDougall first became exposed to precision agriculture via his previous role as a regional manager with Queensland Cotton in the late 1990s.
"When GM cotton was first introduced, it was necessary for cotton farmers to have an accurate farm map as part of their licencing agreement," Mr MacDougall said.
"At the time, most farmers had no idea exactly how big their paddocks were and I'd say even the best were out by at least 10 percent, which had big implications for managing application rates.
"I quickly realised the potential of GPS mapping and yield monitoring, and in turn, this led to guidance systems."
Ag Leader is a provider of precision agriculture technology, including GPS guidance/steering systems, precision planting, spreading and spraying technology, and decision support systems.
Its products are stocked by more than 60 dealers across Australia.
Ag Leader Asia Pacific sales manager Doug Amos said the precision ag sector is booming as more farmers embrace its benefits.
"The decision is no longer about what type of steering system you want for your tractor or harvester, but rather what do you want to do with this precision," Mr Amos said.
"Over the past five years, we've seen a significant adoption of precision planting, spraying and spreading systems in the broadacre, row cropping, cane and horticultural sectors.
"The real power of precision agriculture technology will kick in when farmers start to capture and analyse this data and use it to make more informed management decisions in the following crop.
"This is not technology for technology's sake but a proven way of increasing production while reducing input costs - and making farming easier."
The awards were presented at the Ag Leader dealer conference in Adelaide, which also marked the Australian launch of the company's new RightSpot precision spraying system.
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