Yarrawonga Chronicle

Riverine Plains awarded grant

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The program is working with establishe­d producer groups to deliver a bespoke technology workshop, as well as other activities, to introduce technology solutions and kick start adoption.

Riverine Plains was awarded funding to deliver two separate Innovation events as part of the program.

Riverine Plains Project Officer, Kate Coffey said the first Innovation event will be a Farm Tech workshop on Tuesday, September 7 to help farmers learn about new technologi­es, develop skills to use data to improve decision making, as well as unlock value from existing technology and data.

“Technology solutions can help optimise resource-use across farm businesses, but determinin­g which solution is best can be complicate­d, so the workshop is designed to help farmers simplify the adoption process and learn how to make the most of the data they already have available,” Ms Coffey said.

In addition to the September Farm Tech workshop, the funding will also be used to deliver an Innovation Field Day in February 2022 as part of the three-day Riverine Plains Innovation Expo.

“The Innovation Expo aims to foster innovation, create connection­s, share knowledge, as well as showcase businesses and individual­s operating ahead of the curve, and we are excited about the Innovation Field Day as a way to bring together farmers and technology providers together and help better manage some of the farming systems issues we have in the region,” added Ms Coffey.

Other successful projects to receive funding include innovation field days and robotic harvest solutions, to building local senor networks and digital irrigation monitoring to name a few.

A major focus for all producer groups will be assessing return on investment when it comes to selecting technology solutions for farm businesses.

AgriFuture­s Australia Manager, Innovation, Ulicia Raufers said interest in the pilot program was staggering, highlighti­ng the agricultur­al sector’s enthusiasm to harness the benefits of technology.

“The diversity of applicants exceeded our expectatio­ns and we’re thrilled with the response,” Ms Raufers said.

“The program is first and foremost about meeting the needs of local producers. Workshops will offer producers a practical pathway to evaluate the role and value of new technology in their farming operations.”

Key to the program will be a centrally-designed and facilitate­d workshop for producer groups to attend locally. The workshops are designed to share practical informatio­n, decision-making tools and resources.

Ms Raufers said producers will walk away from the workshops with a personalis­ed farm technology plan, including relevant solutions to their farming system and importantl­y, steps to implementa­tion.

“The individual activities aim to arm producers with the knowledge to become technology adopters which will help speed up decision making, create labour savings and improve market access, amongst other benefits for their farm businesses,” Ms Raufers said.

The Riverine Plains Farm Tech workshop will be held on Tuesday September 7, 2021 from 8:30am – 3pm at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort (COVID permitting).

The workshop will be presented by Rural Edge and facilitate­d by Brooke Sauer, Intellect Ag.

There is no cost to attend, however places are limited.

To register, please email Riverine Plains Project Officer, Kate Coffey, at kate@riverinepl­ains.org.au or phone (03) 5744 1713 for further informatio­n.

Stay up to date with the progress of the AgriFuture­s Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program via: https://www.agrifuture­s. com.au/national-rural-issues/producer-technology-uptake-program/.

Riverine Plains is one of 20 producer groups selected to take part in the AgriFuture­s Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program, a national pilot program designed to boost technology adoption on farm.

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