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Online digital mapping for better farm management


Digital agriculture draws decision to support on-farm management from a suite of soil and environmental data. Soil and many environmental data in Australia are currently available at a resolution of 100 m or coarser and not suitable for farm management and decision-making. This project will develop an online mapping tool which takes current field observations and maps and turns them into digital soil and climate maps at a fine resolution (30 m or finer) required for decision making. The methodology behind this tool is based on digital soil mapping technology developed in Sydney. The project will also develop efficient techniques to disaggregate coarser maps into fine resolution information. These maps will be combined with historical crop yield, weather data, crop management, and environment information to derive agronomic decisions for a farm meet its productivity and sustainability challenges. 
A complimentary scholarship for this project is available. To find out more, refer to the Postgraduate Research Stipend and Supplementary Scholarship in Digital Agriculture Data61
The supervisory team for this project also includes Dr Uta Stockmann (CSIRO), Dr Brendan Malone (CSIRO), Dr Ross Searle (CSIRO) and Dr Ross Darnell (Data61).


Professor Budiman Minasny.

Research location

Sydney Institute of Agriculture

Program type



Most big data in agriculture studies now show that soil variables are the most important factor predicting crop yield and performance. The project will develop new digital technologies that can provide on-farm soil information needed to better soil management which leads to increased crop productivity. 
 The project will fit with the upcoming TERN soil projects on delivering dynamic soil properties and could lead to a new project further strengthening existing collaboration with CSIRO and Data61.

Additional information

This PhD opportunity will be based at the Australia Technology Park, the University of Sydney, as part of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Sydney Institute of Agriculture
 A complimentary scholarship for this project is available. To find out more, refer to the Postgraduate Research Stipend and Supplementary Scholarship in Digital Agriculture Data61.
The supervisory team for this project also includes  Dr Uta Stockmann (CSIRO), Dr Brendan Malone (CSIRO), Dr Ross Searle (CSIRO) and Dr Ross Darnell (Data61).

HDR Inherent Requirements
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirements may include: 

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision; Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks; Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2415

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