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AgTech Weekly News Dashboard: 15th April 2020

Welcome to AgTech Harvest, the mid-week news dashboard powered by AgTech Finder.

In this edition we round up the latest news on COVID-19 and how the coronavirus is affecting Australian agriculture. We also introduce twenty-one emerging AgTech companies, take a look at how technology is helping sell Australian lobsters to hotels in China, and reveal how isolation laws have given flight to deliveries of milk and baby formula by drones to certain suburbs of Canberra.

How is COVID-19 continuing to impact Australia's agriculture sector?

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted significant elements of both food supply and demand - border closures, quarantines, and restrictions are causing disruption across the entire supply chain. Despite these challenges, the pandemic has not compromised overall food security. Here in Australia, it's largely business as usual for agriculture, although some sectors have been hit. To find out how sectors are coping listen to this ABC National Breakfast report featuring Jim Kochi Chairman, Avocados Australia, Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers Federation, Jane Lovell, CEO, Seafood Industry Australia, Terry Richardson, President, Australian Dairy Farmers, and Ed Storey, President, Wool Producers Australia. 

LISTEN | 7min

First published as 'How has COVID-19 impacted Australia's agriculture sector?, ABC, April 15 2020

New and Emerging AgTech 2020

Now that Coronavirus has shut down actual field days, AgTech events and trade shows, (for who knows how long), staying up to date with who's who of new AgTech will need to be done online. As we can no longer gather at AgTech shows to find out more about emerging technology providers, we thought everyone might like to find out more about some of the emerging ‘startups' in Australian AgTech 2020...

READ | 9min

What is being done to secure the beef supply chain amid COVID-19?

The Cattle Council of Australia has been working with Federal, State and Territory Governments, and the Red Meat Advisory Council, in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Head to this page for useful factsheets, advice, links to online mental health resources and information on what to do if there is a case of coronavirus on your farm...

READ | 2min

First published as 'COVID-19 Response Guide for Outbreak', CattleCouncil.com.au, April 9 2020

How do you harvest grapes and make wine in a pandemic?

Wineries in Australia, in Europe and in the United States face restrictions on vineyard work, cellar door sales and on tastings during the COVID-19 pandemic - but some of our counterparts south of the equator face even more daunting challenges. Read this article to find out how our global neighbours are picking and vinifying while keeping workers safe, and selling wine in a world economy that is now dramatically different...

READ | 2min

First published as 'How Do You Harvest Grapes and Make Wine in a Pandemic?', Wine Spectator, Apr 7 2020

How is an Aussie startup selling lobsters directly to Chinese hotels?

An Australian startup is working with many of Shanghai's top hotels to ensure future shipments of lobster travel directly from Australia to their final destination without stopping at markets. Read more about how the startup, 'Two Hands', is working as a go-between for Australian fisherman and farmers, and overseas restaurants...

READ | 3min

First published as 'Aussie startup helps our lobsters find their way to Chinese hotels without wet markets', SMH, April 12, 2020

Is Google's delivery service using drones booming in Canberra?

Wing, the drone delivery company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet says its drone delivery service is booming just a year after Australia's aviation authority granted it regulatory approval to deliver to a few select suburbs in Canberra. Due to isolation laws grocery items like bread and milk have recently been added to the range of available items, and now pasta and baby formula join the list...

READ | 3min

Published as 'Alphabet’s nascent drone delivery service is booming', TheVerge.com, Apr 9, 2020

Why has the demand for live chickens suddenly surged?

First there was panic-buying for toilet paper, then hand sanitiser, then pasta  and now chickens (the live variety!) As more people look to become self-sustainable in their food supply, poultry breeders have reported a spike in the number of people wanting backyard chickens for their homes in order to have their own eggs...

READ | 3min

First published as 'Coronavirus: Poultry breeders see surge in demand for backyard chicken' The Canberra Times, April 11 2020

What do farmers need to sure up food supply?

With nearly 70,000 views on YouTube there is quite a bit of interest in this 60 Minutes episode from Sunday night that implied Australia was in danger of running out of food due to lack of water (claims undermine the food security message that AgForce, National Farmers' Federation and others have been publicising). Watch the 60 Minutes report here...

READ | 4min  WATCH | 10min

First published by 60 Minutes Australia, Apr 12, 2020

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