Tech to drive farming future
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.