In our feature story this week we look at the benefits of measuring pasture and the agtech available to build paddock potential. In our round up of agtech in the news see a farm of the future webinar, a new online livestock trading platform is launched, integrated real time monitoring is an on-farm 'revolution', and Australia risks missing out on a $700b agrifood tech industry. Plus see what's new in the Agtech Finder Directory.....
An ultrasonic pasture meter mounted on a frame measures the pasture directly ahead of the vehicle (Photo courtesy: www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing).
Smart pasture tools to build paddock potential
Pasture is one of the most important assets in dairy and livestock production systems, yet few producers measure their pastures in a meaningful way with, for example, only one in ten dairy producers measuring their pastures.
While low-tech tools like transects and rising plane meters have been the go-to solutions in the past, digital technologies are taking over, giving producers real-time, paddock-by-paddock yield estimates and predictions. In this article we look at the benefits of measuring pasture, what tech is available to producers now from vendors on AgTech Finder, and some of the ‘future farming’ pasture technologies in development.
With the uptake of drones and other forms of sensing, the tools and capability that now exist for farmers to measure their pasture feedbase are more comprehensive than ever before.
Farms of the Future - Introduction to AgTech (NSW Department of Primary Industries)
Farms of the Future - Introduction to Agtech
In this recorded webinar, hear presentations from NSW Department of Primary Industries and key project experts who provide a summary of the Farms of the Future program pilot project and an overview of some the technology connectivity implemented on farm. If you don’t know your LoRaWAN from your CatM1 here is the best place to start you agtech journey!
Image: Holger Detje, Pixabay
New online livestock trading platform launched
The AXIchain Smart Trader app has been designed with both producers and livestock buyers in mind, creating the opportunity to buy and sell livestock at the click of a button on a smart device.
Livestock sellers can capture specification data via RFID integrated technology and data inputs along with accreditations, images and video uploads, allowing producers to broadcast their livestock for sale to industry, or directly to their preferred buyers.
Livestock buyers can view listings using a localised Google integrated mapping tool and the Marketplace module lets buyers browse available stock and purchase or negotiate with sellers.
Real-time revolution on the farm
Perth-base technology company Origo has developed a totally integrated real-time remote-control, monitoring and data-gathering system for Western Australian and Australian farmers.
The system is already being used by several corporate and large farms and large stations in the northern parts of WA, which has one of the largest networks of its kind in Australia, a water management system covering 130,000 hectares of station country.
The company also has provided a broadacre climate monitoring system for all parts of the grain growing season across some of the largest broadacre operations in WA, including a 40,000ha farm at Mingenew.
According to company founder and managing director Annie Brox, the latest development is on the back of several years of research and development within the company and in collaboration with existing clients.
"We have now become one of the few manufacturers in Australia making our own software and hardware, including proprietary electronics which are fitted inside tough, fit-for-purpose hardware in aluminium, high-resistance plastics and no exposed cables,'' Ms Brox said.
"Our designs are now plug-and-play.
For Tammin farmer Brad Jones, Bungulla Farming, who installed the Origo system on his farms several years ago, having real-time data generated every 10 minutes from 16 weather stations strategically positioned throughout the farm to the home server, puts him in a "more comfortable and confident position" to optimise productivity with the availability of real-time data.
His farm monitoring network, designed by Origo, with a private low-power local network provides real-time data monitoring, data analysis and automatic map generation.
Australia risks missing out on $700b agrifood tech industry
Alongside our impressive export track record in meat, wheat, wool and much more, are the innovations that underpin this production: scientific discoveries that make our crops more climate resilient, technologies that make production more efficient, and new business models that enable us to rapidly respond to changing consumer demands.
This represents an opportunity to create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in economic growth, and be recognised as a global leader. But rather than seize this opportunity, we are instead choosing - at all levels of government and industry – to largely ignore it. Despite their role in making us a globally recognised food exporter, the potential to export these innovations is going unnoticed by politicians and industry leaders.
There is a huge opportunity for Australia to become a world leader in the export of agrifood innovation. These innovations are vital in helping us meet our target of $100 billion of farm gate output by 2030.
But exporting agritech is a fundamentally different opportunity than exporting agricultural produce. And agritech has some unique advantages: it is unconstrained, highly aligned to our strengths, and best of all … it’s massive.
Today, the global market for agritech products and services is estimated at $500 billion and is expected to grow to $730 billion in the next three years; an annual growth rate of 8 per cent. If we choose to recognise and invest in Australia’s agritech potential, we could easily aspire to $20 billion or more in economic value.
New in the AgTech Finder Directory
Telesense Sensors by Telesense Australia
A range of robust, easy to install sensors ready for silo's, bunkers, sheds or transport. Telesense has worked with commodity handlers and farmers to develop a range of innovative products suitable for use at any site where bulk commodities are stored.
Electric Fences Monitoring by Farmdeck
Electric fence monitoring can be used to detect and locate faults in electric fences, reducing the time lost and manual effort required in the event of electric fence defects. Farmdeck’s sensors provide near real-time monitoring information about fence status and voltage levels from the Farmdeck app.
Quad Bike Rollover Alert by Farmdeck
Receive near real-time alerts on your device if one of your quad bikes tips or rolls over. A sensor is fitted onto your quad bike which monitors the vehicle’s positioning. This sensor will detect when a vehicle is on its side or not upright because of an accident, so you can respond quickly to reduce the risk of harm on your farm.