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Prof Ian Yule staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517853

Prof Ian Yule , , FIAgrE


School of Food and Advanced Technology

Professor Ian Yule started his career as a lecturer in Agricultural Engineering at Durham Agricultural College in the UK before moving to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he initiated research on precision agriculture. He came to Massey University as a Senior Lecturer in 1997. In 2000 he became the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture and was made Professor in Precision Agriculture in 2011. Ian holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering and has a passion for remote and hyperspectral sensing, as well as finding practical, usable solutions to problems within the agriculture space.  

Ian’s work is concentrated on contract research projects, research outputs and postgraduate supervision. Ian is the main supervisor to 6 full time PhD students and carries a $10M portfolio of contracted research activity. Ian has spent the last 10 years concentrating his research efforts on developing remote sensing and imaging.  His work is at the forefront of developing practical applications for remote sensing and imaging that has worked towards NZ’s largest jointly funded (by Ravensdown and MPI) remote sensing project – Pioneering to Precision, PGP Project.

He has extensive knowledge on theory of spectroscopy and the ways of its implementations to improve management of agricultural crops, hill county farms and dairy farms. He has published extensively and actively promotes the work of the centre through presentations to conferences, workshops and professional bodies.


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Contact details

  • Ph: 0226461193
    Location: Working off Campus, Associate with MAFDL., Grasslands Research Centre,
    Campus: Manawatu

Fellowships and Memberships

  • Member, Institution of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (Fellow) (1978)
  • Member, International Society for Precision Agriculture. (Senior Member/Fellow) (2006)
  • Member, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (Member) (1996)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Precision Agriculture, Remote Sensing, UAV's, Agricultural Engineering


Resource Development and Management, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Agricultural Engineering (099901):
Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling (070104): Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling (070105): Agriculture, Land and Farm Management (070100):
Engineering (090000): Other Engineering (099900)

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 138.900 PhD Agricultural/Horticultural Engineering

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Justin France - Doctor of Philosophy
    Remote and proximal sensing systems for apple tree health detection, determination, and differentiation.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Istvan Hajdu - Doctor of Philosophy
    Soil water modelling in hill country, New Zealand
  • 2019 - Philippa McVeagh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Prediction of soil Olsen P through mixed pasture leaf tissue biophysical and biochemical properties, topography and farm management in New Zealand hill country
  • 2019 - Aaron O'Connor - Doctor of Philosophy
    Automated Condition Scoring System
  • 2017 - Sue Chok - Doctor of Philosophy
    Improving Granular Fertiliser Aerial Application for Hill Country Farming
  • 2012 - Rajasheker Pullanagari - Doctor of Philosophy
    Proximal sensing techniques to monitor pasture quality and quantity on dairy farms
  • 2012 - Ina Draganova - Doctor of Philosophy
    Understanding Nutrient transfers by live stock to improve fertiliser advice and to reduce negative environmental impacts
  • 2010 - Miles Grafton - Doctor of Philosophy
    Flow on particute material from a topdressing aircraft
  • 2010 - Carolyn Hedley - Doctor of Philosophy
    The development of proximal sensing methods for soil mapping and monitoring and their application to precision irrigation
  • 2008 - Robert Murray - Doctor of Philosophy
    Variable Rate Application Technology in The New Zealand Aerial Topdressing Industry
  • 2007 - Hayden Lawrence - Doctor of Philosophy
    Adoption of Precision Agriculture Technologies for Fertiliser Placement in New Zealand.

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Federico Duranovich - Doctor of Philosophy
    Unveiling the potential of proximal hyperspectral sensing for measuring herbage nutritive value in a pasture-based dairy farm system
  • 2017 - Mo Li - Doctor of Philosophy
    Developing non-destructive techniques to predict 'Hayward' kiwifruit storability