Internatonal Prespectives: Seaun Lovell – Precision Ag in New Zealand
Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Seaun Lovell, a precision ag specialist from New Zealand. Seaun was in Ames, Iowa to learn more about Ag Leader products and precision ag in the United States.
A little background – what is your title and what do you do?
Seaun: I am the manager of Smart Ag Solutions in Temuka, New Zealand. We offer precision ag services such as precision mapping, soil sampling with Veris carts, prescription services and more. We are also an Ag Leader dealer.
What does agriculture look like in New Zealand? What is produced there?
Seaun: Dairy, vegetable seed, corn, wheat, barley, hemp, edible beans… you can see it is very diverse.
What is the state of New Zealand agriculture?
Seaun: The New Zealand government recently mandated that all farmers develop a nitrogen leaching baseline for their operation. Then the idea is that they must improve upon that figure in coming years implementing best management practices. These practices outlined include precision ag tools such as crop N sensors, soil probes, autosteer and other practices like centre pivot irrigation and tramlines.
How is precision ag addressing those concerns?
Seaun: Easy documentation like the SmartReport™ is huge. Having an automatic .pdf export showing the basics of what was applied where, what, when and other conditions is a big first step for NZ growers.
Also basic machine guidance, swath control and variable rate application has been a great segway into precision agriculture for many to incorporate controlled traffic and over-application.
Organisations such as Foundation for Ariable Research and Precision Agriculture Association New Zealand explore and push implementation of precision ag further for NZ growers.