Associate Professor Andrew Robson

Associate Professor - Precision Agriculture Research Group (PARG); School of Science and Technology

Andrew Robson

Phone: +61 2 6773 4085



I have been involved in agricultural research since 1996, with the last 15 years developing spatial applications (remote sensing/ GIS) across a number of cropping and farming systems both nationally and internationally. This research has attracted funding from a wide range of industries including Peanut (ACIAR, GRDC, University of Florida), Grains (GRDC), Cotton (CRC), Sugar (SRA/SRDC, WWF/ Coca Cola), Rice (RIRDC), Avocados, Mangoes, Bananas, Macadamias (Hort. Innovation ltd), Pineapples (QDAF) and Pastures (CRC-SI/ MLA).

Throughout my career I have developed an extensive network of industry, research and commercial collaborators that are regularly engaged for the development of successful project applications. This was recently demonstrated with the awarding of a $7.2 million dollar national project (Rural R&D for profit) with the Avocado, Macadamia, Mango and Banana industries. I, with my PARG Agricultural remote Sensing Team also currently provide imagery and derived products to over 95% of the Australian Sugar industry. I am considered by many peers to be an expert in the development of remote sensing applications for Agriculture.


AssocDipEnvSc CIT, BSc CSU, PhD UQ

Research Interests

Project Grants:

  • Project Collaborator and Researcher (Project led by QDAF) on the Horticulture Innovation Ltd project ‘VG16009 Adoption of precision systems technology in vegetable production’. (2016- 2019) ($4.7 Million).
  • Co- Project Developer and Researcher (Project led by QDAF) on the ‘2016/17 Agri-Science Queensland Innovation Opportunity’ funded project titled ‘Identifying the presence of pineapple pests & diseases through remote sensing’. (Feb 2017- June 2017) ($15,000).
  • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher on the Rural Research and Development for Profit Project (co- funded by Horticulture innovation Australia) titled ‘Multi-scale Monitoring Tools for Managing Australian Tree Crops - Industry Meets Innovation’. (2015- 2018) ($7.5 Million).

    Project collaborators include University of New England, University of Queensland, Central Queensland University, University of Sydney, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, AGTRIX, Avocados Australia Ltd, Australian Macadamia Society, Australian Mango industry Association Ltd and Simpson Farms.
  • Principal Researcher on the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI) funded project titled ‘Precision Grazing Management- Real Time Biomass Estimation in Pastures’ (2014- 2017). ($1.4 million over 4 years). (My involvement 2014- 2015)
  • Sugar Research Australia (SRA) formerly Sugar Research Development Corporation (SRDC) funded projects:
    • Co-Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher. Project titled ‘Sugar from space: improved data access, yield forecasting and targeted nitrogen application for the Australian Sugar industry.’ (2016- 2020). ($1.3 million over 3.5 years). Project collaboration with Farmacist.
    • Project co- researcher. Project led by Sugar Research Australia) and titled ‘Licence to Farm: Nitrogen use efficient varieties to meet the future environmental targets’. (2016- 2019) ($1.3 million over 3 years).
    • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher Project titled ‘Evaluating the efficacy of remote sensing for identifying Yellow Canopy Syndrome in sugarcane’ (2013- 2014). ($40,000 6 months).
    • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher Developing. Project titled ‘Remote sensing as an industry wide yield forecasting, nitrogen mapping and research aid.’ (2013- 2016). ($1.1 million over 3 years).
    • Project Developer and Leader. Project titled ‘Remote sensing to implement an effective pest management strategy for cane grubs’. (2011- 2015). ($1.1 million over 4 years)
    • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher. Project titled ‘Remote Sensing- based Precision Agriculture Tools for the Sugar Industry. (2009- 2012). ($1 million over 3 years).
  • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher of Remote sensing component of Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) Avocado Projects AV11015 and AV12012: To assess the effectiveness of using remote sensing technologies to predominately collect tree number and tree health information. (2013- 2014). ($22K over 2 years).
  • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher. Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) (Queensland component) funded project titled 'In- crop spatial variability assessment and management'. (2007- 2010). ($1.1 million over 3 years).
  • Principal Researcher of Remote sensing component of Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Peanut project (Papua New Guinea). (2004- 2009).
  • Project Developer, Leader and Principal Researcher. South Burnett regional council project: 'Using high resolution satellite imagery for the detection of Privet- Ligustrum lucidum. (2009).
  • Remote Sensing applications for the determination of Yield, Maturity and Aflatoxin contamination within Peanut. PhD. (2002- 2007).
  • Project Researcher of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded SIP09 Precision Agriculture Initiative project: ‘Eye in the sky to revolutionise Australia's northern crop production’. (2003- 2006).

Research Supervision Experience

PhD Co-Supervisior:

  • Integrating LiDAR and Multispectral data for Monitoring Mangos, Avocados and Macadamias (Sabrina Dan Wu (University of Queensland)).
  • Investigating the relationship between the spatial variability of individual tree vigour across an orchard block, as identified by very high resolution satellite imagery, to pollination efficacy and diversity of pollinator species (Bryony Wilcox).
  • Remote sensing for the non-invasive detection of Panama Disease (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense (Foc)) in banana crops (Aaron Aeberli).
  • Pre-symptomatic detection of Phytophthora root rot in Avocado for automated surveillance (Surantha Salgadoe).
  • The Provision of Crop Pollination Ecosystem Services by Wild Insects (Liam Kendall).


Selected Recent Publications

Moshiur Rahman and Andrew Robson (2016). Multi-temporal remote sensing for yield prediction in sugarcane crops. Proceedings of the 19th Precision Agriculture Symposium in Australia. 12-13 Sept. 2016. Toowoomba, Qld.

Andrew J Robson, Muhammad Moshiur Rahman, Jasmine Muir, Ashley Saint, Chad Simpson and Chris Searle (2016). Evaluating satellite remote sensing as a method for measuring yield variability in Avocado and Macadamia tree crops. Proceedings of the 19th Precision Agriculture Symposium in Australia. 12-13 Sept. 2016. Toowoomba, Qld.

Muhammad Moshiur Rahman and Andrew Robson (2016). A novel approach for sugarcane yield prediction using Landsat time series imagery: A case study on Bundaberg region. Advances in Remote Sensing.  DOI: 10.4236/ars.2016.52008.

Robson A, Rahman MM, Falzon G, Verma NK, Johansen K, Robinson N, Lakshmanan P, Salter B and Skocaj D (2016). Evaluating remote sensing technologies for improved yield forecasting and for the measurement of foliar nitrogen concentration in sugarcane. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (38). From: ASSCT 2016: 38th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 27-29 April 2016, Mackay, QLD, Australia.

Dehaan, R., Dunn, B.W., Dunn, T., Hume, I., Orchard, B., and Robson, A. (2015). Using remote sensing to predict PI nitrogen uptake in Rice. Technical Report, NSW DPI Southern NSW Research Results 2015. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2482.6483

Everingham Y, Sexton J, and Robson A (2015). A statistical approach for identifying important climatic influences on sugarcane yields. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (37), pp. 8-15. From: ASSCT 2015: 37th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 28-30 April 2015, Bundaberg, QLD, Australia.

A Robson, J Stanley and D Lamb (2015). Investigating remote sensing technologies and their potential for improving nitrogen management in Sugarcane. In A Review of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Sugarcane. Sugar Research Australia Research Report. Pages 154 -179.

Robson, A.J., Petty, J., Joyce, D.C., Marques, J.R., and Hofman, P.J. (2014).High resolution remote sensing, GIS and Google Earth for avocado fruit quality mapping and tree number auditing. Proceedings of the 29th International Horticultural Congress 2014. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

K. Johansen, A. Robson, P. Samson, N. Sallam, K. Chandler, A. Eaton, L. Derby and J. Jennings (2014). Mapping Canegrub Damage from High Spatial Resolution Satellite Imagery. Proceedings of the 36th Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists workshop. Gold Coast, Qld. 29 April – 1 May 2014.

A. J. Robson and G. C. Wright (2013). Accurate Regional to Field Scale Yield forecasting of Australian Sugarcane and Peanut Crops using Remote Sensing and GIS. Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Training Course on the application of Remote Sensing and GIS Technology in Crop Production. Beijing, China. 27- 30 August 2013

Andrew Robson, Chris Abbott, David Lamb and Rob Bramley (2012). Developing sugar cane yield algorithms from satellite imagery. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 34th Conference, Cairns, Qld. 1- 4 May 2012.

Mike Bell, Steve Walker, Andrew Robson, David Jordan and Dave Murray (2009). The evolution of modern cropping systems In National Water and Environment Bulletin. Spring 2009. Page 43- 47.

Daniel Rodriguez, Andrew J. Robson and Robert Belford (2009). Dynamic and Functional monitoring technologies for applications in crop management. In Crop Physiology- Applications for genetic improvement and agronomy. eds. Victor Sadras and Daniel Calderini. Elsevier Inc. USA.

McHugh, A.D., Boughton, B., Eberhard, J., McKeering, L.M., Robson, A.R., and Raine, S.R. (2008). Evaluating the relationship between plant based measurements and remotely sensed data for irrigation scheduling of cotton. National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture Publication 1001574/8, USQ, Toowoomba.

A.J. Robson, Remote sensing applications for the determination of yield, maturity and aflatoxin contamination in Peanut. Ph.D. Thesis, the University of Queensland (2007).

Robson, A., Phinn, S., and Wright, G. (2006) Using field Spectroscopy and QuickBird Imagery for the assessment of Peanut crop maturity and aflatoxin risk. Journal of Spatial Science, 51(2).

Graeme Wright, Andrew Robson and Rao CN Rachaputi (2006). Remote sensing applications for peanuts in Australia and Papua New Guinea. In  “Improving Yield and economic viability of peanut production in Papua New Guinea and Australia:” Eds Rachaputi Rao C.N. Wright, G.C. Kuniata, L and Ramakrishna, A. ACIAR Proceedings No 122, 124p

Robson, A., Wright, G., and Phinn, S. (2004).Assessment of peanut crop maturity and yield forecasting with QuickBird multispectral satellite imagery. Spatial Science Queensland, 4, Aug 2004:35- 37.

Robson, A.J., Williams, R.L. and Farrell, T.C. (2001) Unique root mass in Australia’s rice. Proceedings of the Australian Agronomy Conference. Hobart Australia.

Consultancy Interests

Director of AGSCENE Pty Ltd.  This is a small part time consultancy that develops discrete remote sensing applications for a range of agricultural industries.

External Profiles

Related Links

For more information, please see the following links:

Peanut Growers Case Study -

Sugar Growers Case Study -

May 2015 Newsletter -

Sugar cane webinar

Remote sensing webinar