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AgTech Weekly News Dashboard: 1st April 2020

Welcome to AgTech Harvest, the new weekly news dashboard powered by AgTech Finder. In each edition we round up the most useful articles written for Australian farmers, producers, agronomists, and for anyone else with an interest in technology and the food chain.

In this edition of AgTech Harvest read about how vineyards are adapting for warmer weather, how farmers are tracking spaghetti squash throughout the supply chain, and about some of the digital tools that top operators are using to grow more with less.

We're also sharing the latest updates on COVID-19 and how the Coronavirus is affecting Australian agriculture and agritech businesses and communities.

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Email agtechfinder@foodagility.com if you have news of your own to share with the AgTech Finder community. 

COVID-19 shuts down ag events and field days - now what?

They’re an important event on the calendar for any producer. It’s a chance to catch up with mates, check out all the new technology developments, kick some tyres and do some deals. But ag field days across the country have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see the list below), as huddling in a tent with a few hundred other people is suddenly not so appealing. Here’s a few tips for researching those crucial farm purchases when you can’t look someone in the eye and shake their hand... 

READ | 3min

First published on AgTechFinder.com in Expert Info, 20 March 2020

How are winemakers adapting for warmer climates?

This article and video are about how a winemaking family from Orange NSW adapted their winemaking business for a warmer world by investing in infrastructure to help them manage compressing harvest time, changing the elevation of their vineyards, and introducing more sustainable soil and pest management practices. 

READ | 6min | includes videos

Published as 'Inside Australia's climate emergency: the lost harvest' by The Guardian Australia, 2 March 2020

What sorts of tech can growers use to track and trace produce like vegetables?

Are you interested in a digital traceback system for your business? Take a look at how WA spaghetti squash grower Bevan Eats plans to use this technology to track and trace each piece of produce throughout the supply chain, as well as conduct consumer marketing campaigns.

READ | 3min

Published as 'WA spaghetti squash grower starts produce tracking with DiMuto', The Land, 15 March 2020

How has COVID-19 affected farm labour supply in Queensland?

Coronavirus is set to impact all Australians and the picture for agriculture is still developing. This story provides an update on the current status of visas for backpackers, and what the government is considering to ensure the supply of labour for QLD growers.  

READ | 3min

Published as 'Serious concerns' for Queensland's fruit-pickers on holiday visas' Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 2020

How and why are producers using data and artificial intelligence in their businesses?

This article is a good introduction to how AI is being used for waste-reduction and efficiency across the entire agrifood chain, from farms to restaurants. It features Australian AgTech start-up The Yield and their AI solution ‘Sensing+’, which combines sensors and analytics to provide information and predictions in easy-to-use apps for large-scale commercial growers.

READ | 3min   AGTECH TIP | Check out The Yield’s Sensing+ solution

Published as 'How Data And AI Help Companies Reduce Waste And Improve Food Production', Which50.com, 20 February 2020

How can IoT help enhance productivity, supply chain efficiency and food production quality?

IoT is projected to create 50 billion endpoints by 2020 which will result in a fundamental shift across key sectors including agriculture, energy, transport and beyond. This short case study details how multinational company Cisco has invested millions into Australian agriculture in the last few years with the aim of enhancing productivity, supply chain efficiency and food production quality.

READ | 3min   AGTECH TIP | Check out Cisco’s Farm Decision Platform on AgTech Finder

Published as 'Agtech in Australia: Driving IOT connectivity for farming', Austrade.gov.au, February 2020

Do you need an after-market steering kit for your JD?

John Deere have announced the release of a universal after-market steering kit called the ‘AutoTrac Controller 300’, aimed at providing the benefits of integrated precision guidance, without the hassle or cost.  

READ | 3min

First published as 'John Deere launch universal after-market steering kit', Farm Online 9 March 2020

What's out there in the way of semi-autonomous robotic carts to help pickers?

Interested in what’s on the horizon to help pickers? San Francisco-based tech news side techcrunch.com held their very first pitch-off event this month. In a sign of the times, one of the strongest competitors was from AgTech start-up Burro. Could the first step towards autonomous farming be collaborative farm robots? Take a look at their short pitch and decide for yourself.  

READ | 3min

First published as 'Agriculture, cameras, tire changes and drive-throughs: Here are our robotics pitch-off winners', Techcrunch.com 10 March 2020

What words of wisdom does the boss of Elders have to say to agtech startups and investors?

Listen to this radio interview to find out what words of wisdom Elders CEO Mark Allison had for the start-ups and venture capitalists attending EvokeAg 2020, the largest AgTech event in the Asia-Pacific. 

LISTEN | 5min

First published as 'EvokeAg: Elders CEO Mark Allison shares his advice to AgTech startups', ABC NT Country Hour

Is AgTech just about selling widgets to farmers?

Listen to this radio interview with the team behind Australia’s first agtech venture capital firm, Tenacious Ventures. They're ready to invest. Find out what they’re looking for as an investment, and listen their founders talk about how Australia can become a global AgTech leader.

LISTEN | 5min

First published as 'Tenacious Ventures circling Australian agriculture for investment opportunities', ABC Radio NT Country Hour

Is it really the last 5 per cent of attention to detail that differentiates the top percentile of agribusinesses from the rest?

This opinion piece from South Australian agri consultant Michael Bagshaw argues that the agribusinesses set to succeed are the ones with a laser-type focus on the combination of new, business-enhancing technology and good-old hard work. 

READ | 5min

First published as 'Top operators use many tools', The Stock Journal, 16 March 2020

Can new canopy sensor technology improve irrigation efficiency in both cotton and other agricultural crops?

After a decade of success in cotton, Australian start-up GoannaAg are ready to roll-out their moisture management system into new crops. Could it work for your business? Read this article to find out. 

READ | 5min   AGTECH TIP | Check out GoannaAg’s Go Field solution on AgTech Finder

First published as 'GoannaAg GoField technology to expand', Farm Online 13 March 2020

Thanks for reading this week's round-up of last week's news. For daily updates follow us on Twitter!

You can find a new edition of AgTech Harvest Weekly on AgTechFinder.com every Thursday. 


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