Five minutes with a farmer group – SPAA

| Posted Sep 06,2021

President of SPAA, Frank D’Emden

The Soil CRC’s Communications Manager caught up with Frank D’Emden, President of SPAA for a five-minute chat.  

Tell us about SPAA

The Society of Precision Agriculture Australia (SPAA) is Australia’s leading independent precision agriculture research, development, and extension organisation. 

SPAA began in 2002 and is a broad-based organisation that provides independent, objective, timely and relevant precision agriculture information to the grains, sugarcane, horticulture, and livestock industries.

We act as an umbrella group, supporting precision agriculture initiatives within industries that have the funding and capabilities to explore and adopt new technologies. We have an Australia-wide focus, which is achieved by partnering with other organisations and becoming part of national and industry alliances.

The relationship between members and SPAA is very two-way. Members benefit from our events, publications, and resources, and in turn they help drive research, development and extension that delivers on-ground benefits to farmers. Access to quality information and opportunities for members to share ideas is a critical element of progressive and resilient farming communities. We strongly believe in our motto of ‘Guiding you to farming success’.

We are not based in one geographical location. Our members are located across Australia and include those involved in all production systems including growers, consultants, equipment manufacturers, contractors, and researchers. 

We are very excited to be celebrating our 20th Anniversary next year in 2022.

What area and type of farming do you cover? 

SPAA members are located across Australia, from Queensland to Tasmania, from Western Australia to New South Wales. Our members are also involved in many different farming enterprises, including grains, sugarcane, horticulture, viticulture and livestock.

The thing they all have in common is their desire to use precision agriculture to improve their farming practices.

Why is soil important to your members? 

Soil is of fundamental importance to all our members as it is one of the primary resources from which their production arises. Whether it be understanding the benefits of controlled traffic on soil structure and nitrous oxide emissions, or how electromagnetic sensing can help describe a vineyard’s terroir, SPAA plays an important role in communicating research outcomes and adoption success stories growers.

Healthy soils are fundamental to the success of our agricultural sector, and indeed society in general. SPAA is excited to be involved in the interplay between researchers and growers, and in the communication of important messages regarding soil management to industry.

Why did SPAA become a participant in the Soil CRC? 

SPAA is keen to obtain the latest relevant research and disseminate the key messages to our members. The research from the Soil CRC is leading the development of soil-related technologies which our members have a strong interest, and which will ultimately benefit the wider industry.

To find out more about becoming a member of SPAA click here.