Local farmers will have access to accredited training for the use of drones on-farm with a new one-day course taking off.
Northern Tablelands MP and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the Drones in Agriculture course had just been launched with great success in Yass, Cooma and Goulburn.
"Farmers in NSW have always been at the forefront of taking up new technologies, and this is no different. Drones have changed the way we farm, and our primary producers have adapted and are already reaping the benefits," Mr Marshall said.
"During the one-day practical workshop, participants learn how to use drones on-farm to collect data that they can base informed decisions on, such as refined fertiliser plans, sowing plans or monitoring water systems.
"Drones allow farmers to have a level of surveillance over their properties they have never had before, and are capable of providing real-time vision of crops and stocks from kilometres away.
"Operating a drone is like any other precision control system - with proper planning, set up and confidence to operate safely, it can provide real on-farm benefits," he said.
The course is delivered through the NSW Department of Primary Industries Tocal College, in partnership with NSW Farmers Association.
"This is a rapidly evolving area of agriculture and Tocal College has developed the course in response to those trends," Mr Marshall said. "As drone use increases so too has demand for accredited training, so we have tailored the course to meet farmers' needs."
The course aims to develop knowledge and skills in safe and efficient operation of drones in an agricultural context; Australian laws related to the use of Remote Pilot Aircraft's (RPA) for private use; and collecting and processing data for use in creating a crop planting map or precision fertiliser program.
More information on the course, including details about how to enroll, is available on the Tocal College website www.tocal.nsw.edu.au.