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AGR3305 Precision and Smart Technologies in Agriculture

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Precision & Smart Techno Agric
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 050100 - Agriculture
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 22 March 2019


Examiner: Troy Jensen


Farmers have long recognized that variability exists within individual production units. Traditional practices dictate that producers treat the entire area the same. With the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS) it is now possible to vary inputs in accordance with localised conditions. Coupled with the capacity to monitor a variety of parameters, producers are now able to manage variability and optimise production. This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the essential procedures and tools for collecting, organising, interpreting and presenting geographically referenced production data.


This course will investigate the causes of variability in agriculture production and modern techniques for improving yields. Precision agriculture enables the farmer to accurately use resources at the correct location and time to optimise the management of crops. Precision agriculture relies on technology to monitor the crops and GPS tracking to guide equipment to the required location to complete the task. This course will explore how these technologies can be utilised in the pursuit of improving crop production.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. characterise the magnitude and causes of production variability and characterise the current objectives and emerging applications of precision agriculture;
  2. apply global positioning systems and geographic information systemsto precision agriculture;
  3. apply remote sensing, image processing, variability measuring devices and variable rate technology, field guidance and controlled traffic;
  4. characterise the economic and environmental benefits of precision agriculture, including the economic impact of precision controlled traffic farming.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Precision Agriculture 5.00
2. Technology related to precision agriculture 30.00
3. Appropriate data layers for precision agriculture 15.00
4. Applications for precision agriculture 30.00
5. Agricultural case studies 15.00
6. Economic/Environment aspects of precision agriculture 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Jensen, JR 2007, Remote sensing of the environment: an earth resource perspective, 2nd edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
(New international 2nd edition helt at TBA.)
Srinivasan, A (ed.) 2006, Handbook of precision agriculture: principles and applications, Food Products Press, New York.
(Shelf Number: 631 Han.)
Precision Agriculture, Springer, Netherlands. (ISSN 1385-2256 (Print) 1573-1618 (USQ Online Journal).

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 86.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 37.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 200 20 12 Aug 2019
Assignment 2 200 20 16 Sep 2019
2 Hour Restricted Examination 600 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the <end of semester examination> by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per Section 4.4.2 of the Assessment Procedure.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks/grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are only allowed to access specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    i. writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    ii. calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination)

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. This is a communication benchmark course and a major component of the assessment of this course will be associated with the demonstration of communication skills.

  11. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.