PIRSA Drone Challenge

The PIRSA Drone Challenge was developed to educate and immerse students into the new and immerging innovative technologies currently being used in the Agricultural and Horticultural Industries.

What is the PIRSA Drone Challenge?

The PIRSA Riverland Drone Challenge also encourages students to see Agriculture and Horticulture as a potential career option with potentially very new innovative technologies.

Drones Provided20+


Looking ahead, RDAMR hopes to incorporate various aspects of Artificial Intelligence into the Drone Challenge to continue challenging students in an evolving ag-tech based field.

Competing students from Loxton High School, Berri High School, and Waikerie High School work in teams to fly a drone over a citrus orchard at the Loxton Research Centre. They will use the drone to locate coloured markers placed among the trees, representing a serious disease threat to South Australia’s citrus industry. They then come up with a response plan to treat the ‘diseased’ trees and present their findings to a panel of current Industry Members.

The teams of students are awarded scores on their flight time, the amount of disease detected, and their written and oral reports. The team with the highest score will win a prize for their school to the value of $2,500 and a perpetual trophy.

This challenge immerses Riverland high school students in the world of agribusiness and technology, to help them understand the kind of work taking place in their backyard and provides a unique insight into exciting local career pathways and securing the future of the region through AgTech skill development.


STEM Nation created this project in Adelaide utilising SA Power Networks and the powerlines (not live) to check for any potential required repairs. The project was then adapted to suit our agricultural and horticultural industries and has been a great success since commencement in 2018.

Facilitated by RDAMR, the Riverland Drone Challenge has been held annually since 2018 with ongoing funding from PIRSA since 2019.


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