AgTech Harvest Newsletter: 2 February 2021

We feature farmer and avid agtech enthusiast Tim Rethus sharing his practical insights about what you should consider when looking for agtech solutions. Plus our new roundup includes recent articles about IoT-enabled precision agriculture, Australia's Clean Energy Innovation Fund backs agtech to track methane emissions and soil carbon, and a video about game-changing tech for agriculture.

Don't miss out on the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre's virtual summit themed Mission Food for Life: Building trust and resilience in our food supply chains.

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We're adding new vendors and products to AgTech Finder every week, so check out what's new in our online searchable Directory.

The AgTech Finder Team

A farmers perspective on what you need to consider when looking for agtech solutions

There are many agtech products out on the market now, so how do you ask the right questions to get the product that suits your needs? We spoke to Tim Rethus, a cropping farmer near Horsham who has been an early and avid adopter of agtech on his family farm. Tim is also on the Board of the Birchip Cropping Group and is formerly an engineer by trade, so knows his way around tech.

On the family farm Tim has been using a range of agtech tools and products including weather stations, soil probes, VR, John Deere management software and comparison tools, precision planting and optical sensors on disc seeders, and Taranis drones, to name a few!

In our latest blog, Tim covers his top 6 of what farmers should consider when considering agtech so they get the right product or service that is fit for purpose and ensures the supplier can deliver on their promises.

Read the full blog here.

Crop Health Management with IoT-Enabled Precision Agriculture

When you consider the compounded effects of climate change, population growth, and increased demand in the food supply, the need for an efficient agriculture system is at an all-time high. The devastating effects of food insecurity as a result of ineffective commercial agriculture are inevitable. That is unless you enable precision agriculture. IoT-enabled crop health management is a game-changer to alleviate the pain points of traditional agriculture.

Precision Agriculture is IoT-enabled crop health management that takes all of the guesswork out of farming while increasing efficiency and output. Data-driven corrective action can solve traditional pain points of agriculture and make surplus crop yields more attainable for farmers, thus establishing greater food security for individuals.

IBM estimates that IoT will enable farmers to increase food production by 70 percent by the year 2050. Smart Farming with IoT-enabled crop health management is the future of the agriculture industry.

Read more at IoT For All.

TAFE links with John Deere to drive its push towards precision ag

SuniTAFE's Mildura campus is using a partnership with a local John Deere dealership to achieve its ambition of becoming a state-of-the-art precision agriculture education and research facility.

The campus is situated in Victoria's Mallee region and grows a variety of 10 crops across 30 hectares with up to 150 students on the books and has aligned to a Sustainable, Manageable, Accessible, Rural Technologies (SMART) approach to farming.

SuniTAFE SMART farm manager Warren Lloyd said it was essential the facility could provide precision ag training.

"We are embracing technology and want to make sure we're at the forefront of any advancements in horticulture," he said.

"We are trialing the latest technologies here and then teaching it to our students, so they are the forerunners when they head into careers in the industry."

Read more at Farm Online.

Video: Game changing technologies in agriculture (Grains Research and Development Corporation)

Professor Craig Baillie from the University of Southern Queensland shares the latest global insights on game-changing technology for the grains industry. Watch the GRDC video on YouTube.

Revolutionising Agriculture: How Tech Trends Make Farming Smarter

Also called the 3rd Green Revolution, smart farming is the way to innovate the agriculture sector by adopting smart technologies. In the years to come, it promises to bridge the gap between the latest tech solutions and the agricultural sector — a realm that is used to relying on the more traditional approaches.

The 3rd Green Revolution rushes into the industry with precision agriculture development, IoT solutions, satellites, sensors, geo-positioning systems, drones, and location-based services. For farmers, AgriTech paves the way to easier operational management, more efficient resource exploitation, and sustainable crop yield. IoT, advanced robotics, and automated machinery allow farmers to optimize their processes, while the data they receive from sensors can help farmers shape and alter their strategies.

Read more at Medium.com.

CEFC backs cattle and sheep farmers with technology to lift productivity and boost soil carbon

Innovative Australian software designed to improve farm productivity and sustainability has secured a $5 million commitment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), on behalf of the Australian Government, to capitalise on its potential to drive down emissions from the agriculture sector.

AgriWebb is an Australian-based agtech start-up that has built a world leading livestock management platform. It supports sustainable cattle and sheep grazing, automating data collection from around the farm to help farmers manage resources more efficiently and produce livestock at its ideal weight.

The CEFC Clean Energy Innovation Fund investment will enable AgriWebb to develop tools that track methane emissions from livestock and the carbon sequestration of paddocks.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “AgriWebb allows farmers to take advantage of the digitisation that has made life easier across many other industries, minimising paperwork after a long day in the field.

“It collects data from gates, weigh stations, electronic tag readers and feed and water troughs, and captures in-field decisions in real time. This information gives farmers a more detailed picture of the health of the herd and pastures, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently and to reduce carbon emissions.”

Read more at Mirage News.

New in the AgTech Finder Directory

David Weather Station Kit from Incyt by LX

A professional and rugged weather station with a versatile sensor suite that combines a rain collector, air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction into one package. Designed to meet the guidelines of the World Meteorological Organisation, this weather station is an excellent choice for farmers, researchers and agronomists. Providing multiple points of measurement for accurate weather reporting to make key cropping decisions, including ambient temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction including wind gusts.

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