Farmers take part in drone training and mapping workshops

Western Local Land Services have been conducting a series of workshops to show
landholders how drones can be used to monitor pastures. One of the workshops was
hosted at Dijoe (between Cobar and Bourke) last Tuesday. ▪ Photo contributed

Over the past 12 months, Western Local
Land Services (Western LLS) has been testing
drones to see if they can be successfully
used to monitor pastures across the western
The results of their testing will be compiled
to work out if the technology is practical, useful
and accurate in a number of applications,
including: measuring groundcover, species
diversity and distances from the air.
Local landholders had the opportunity to
learn more about the technology and the program
last Tuesday at a workshop held at Dijoe
Station between Cobar and Bourke.
The workshop was very successful with the
12 attendees shown how they could map their
properties to collect information.
The practical hands-on drone training covered
the basics of using and operating a drone
and demonstrated how drones can be used to
collect farm data so that landholders can make
informed decisions on their properties.
Participants were also guided in using software
to process the data they collected.
The workshops outlined how drones can be
used for other applications such as moving and
monitoring livestock, pest management, checking
on animal health and wellbeing and monitoring
of vegetation and water.
As part of the program, participants will
receive access to the drone mapping software
(which is fully subsidised by Western LLS)
which they can now use to collect maps and
data of their own properties that can be a useful
decision making tool for them in future.
The data collected will be vital in the development
of effective and practical drone technology
for applications in Western NSW.
All attendees left feeling more confident in
using drones and excited to see how they could
use them on their properties.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW
Dugald Saunders said technology continues
to revolutionise how farmers operate, and
courses like this are an opportunity for people
to upskill using the latest technological advancements.
“The agriculture sector is stronger than ever,
despite a challenging few years of fires, floods
and drought. It’s important that we continue to
roll out programs like these so our farmers can
strengthen and grow their operations during
this prosperous time,” Mr Saunders said.