Call out for innovative AgTech to populate demonstration farms

Call out for innovative AgTech to populate demonstration farms

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THE search is on for innovative agricultural technology, that could be showcased at the Struan and Kybybolite demonstration farms in the South East.

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THE search is on for innovative agricultural technology, that could be showcased at the Struan and Kybybolite demonstration farms in the South East.

The state government is calling for expressions of interest from suppliers of innovative products, with the aim to increase AgTech adoptions for SA farmers and help improve productivity across the sector.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the unique demonstration farms would have a diverse array of technology applicable on-farm today.

"We are calling on more AgTech products for our SE demonstration farms to allow farmers to experience AgTech solutions on a working farm to not only encourage adoption and in turn productivity but also to de-risk the investment," he said.

"There is no limit on the technologies we are considering for these farms from monitoring stock and crops to on-farm connectivity.

"If you have a technology that you think has greater application across SA's grain and livestock industries, we want to work with you to showcase and demonstrate the benefits of that to our farmers."

Mr Whetstone said the government had a goal to increase the Gross State Productivity by 3 per cent, by focusing on food, wine and agribusiness, with the adoption of AgTech critical to achieving this goal.

"We want primary producers to be adopting relevant AgTech, to ensure they're working in the most optimised way - to improve the productivity, growth and sustainability of primary industry sectors in SA," he said.

He said the goal was for farmers across the state to be able to visit the Struan and Kybybolite sites, see the technology in action, and better understand how adopting a particular AgTech could improve their business,

In partnership with Elders, the demonstration farms have their first piece of AgTech, a portable automatic in-paddock weighing machine that provides a high-tech alternative to the process of physically mustering and weighing cattle one at a time.

RELATED READING: SE govt farms to show AgTech potential

Elders managing director and chief executive officer Mark Allison said the government-industry collaboration at Struan and Kybybolite would create a world-class sustainable farming enterprise that would demonstrate valuable new technologies to farmers, with the 'smart weigher' an ideal example of its potential.

"Agriculture needs greater investment in AgTech, but not just any technology will do," he said.

"Fundamentally, what really matters is how the development will address the key issues of productivity, profitability and sustainability.

"What agribusiness needs right now is tangible, on-the-ground initiatives that will benefit farmers and optimise the overall supply chain from a productivity and sustainability viewpoint. Any innovation or idea must generate a distinct net benefit.

"This will be an important requirement for AgTech innovations at the Struan-Kybybolite demonstration farms, with the ultimate goal of improving productivity for South Australian primary producers."

The government is open to considering all types of technology at the farms, such as:

  • General farming activities such as fence, gate and tank monitoring
  • Livestock management: feed intake monitoring
  • Pasture management : Climate modelling, remote weed control, livestock pasture intake
  • Irrigation management including flood and pivot irrigation: automatic gates, bay monitors, movement sensors, fertigation
  • Farm vehicle management including GPS tracking and safety
  • Farm management software: including labour task monitoring, pasture use efficiency, stock movements/traceability, satellite imagery

Expression of Interests for technology are open and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

  • Details: To apply visit pir.sa.gov.au/agtech-eoi

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