Tech to drive farm­ing fu­ture

Countryman - - MACHINERY AND TECHNOLOGY - Zach Relph

New in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity will dic­tate the fu­ture of Aus­tralia’s on-farm de­ci­sion-mak­ing, a lead­ing agri­cul­tural re­searcher has de­clared.

Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Agri­cul­tural and Re­source Eco­nom­ics and Sciences ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Steve Hat­field-Dodds found big­ger scale farms were be­com­ing more will­ing to adopt tech­nol­ogy than their smaller coun­ter­parts.

ABARES’ lat­est na­tion­wide study, re­leased last Thurs­day, re­ported 96 per cent of the 2200 farm­ers sur­veyed were ap­ply­ing in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy on-farm.

Dr Hat­field-Dodds said tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing GPS-guided equip­ment, were widely used on veg­etable and grain farms, while

elec­tronic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and herd man­age­ment tools were com­monly en­gaged on dairy farms.

“It is ev­i­dent that new equip­ment and the data it gen­er­ates are chang­ing how farms are man­aged,” he said.

Dr Hat­field-Dodds said new ICT would be fun­da­men­tal to the next wave of pro­duc­tiv­ity growth in Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture. “The use of dig­i­tal agri­cul­ture in Aus­tralia has the po­ten­tial to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity through op­ti­mis­ing in­put use, more timely de­ci­sion-mak­ing,

labour sav­ings, and im­proved mar­ket ac­cess,” he said.

On-farm tech­nol­ogy is gain­ing mo­men­tum among WA’s pro­duc­ers and grow­ers, while dif­fer­ent sys­tems are also be­ing tri­alled.

Stir­lings to Coast Farm­ers and ag-tech or­gan­i­sa­tion Io­tag are set to start a six-week track­ing pro­gram at West Ken­de­nup grower An­drew Slade’s farm next month.

The project will use an Io­tagde­vel­oped col­lar, coined Lo­cate, to track the lo­ca­tion and move­ment of 60 cat­tle and sheep to de­ter­mine graz­ing pat­terns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.