"IF YOU don't like change, you'll like irrelevance even less".
With statements like this from a speaker at the Digital AgriFood Summit in NSW, not many attendees would have left the conference feeling like agriculture was moving backwards when it comes to adopting technology.
The two-day conference featured a raft of presentations on the future of Australian farming and the ever-evolving world of AgTech and sustainability.
Zetifi showcased technology to solve the widespread connectivity issues on rural properties. Others looked at the uptake of robotics on farms to automate menial tasks, while corporate giants like Bega explained how its looking to implement a whole of ecosystem circular economy.
But there was one speaker who wasn't convinced on the benefits and uptake of technology on Australian farms, claiming the only widespread technology deployed on grain farms in the past two decades had been autosteer.
My initial feeling was to stand up and use evidence to correct his view, but upon reflection, this type of attitude exists among the farming community.
Are these farmers wrong to think that technology can't help their business?
The simple answer is no, because the farmer knows their business best.
The world is changing and meeting sustainability credentials is no longer about attracting a premium, but a minimum market access requirement.
Financiers are seeking more data about the sustainability of a farm when assessing a loan application. Consumers are demanding to know more about how their food was grown and whether it meets environmental and social standards.
Technology is the only real solution to helping grain producers record and meet sustainability goals and can be as simple as a mobile phone app.
While the attitude that technology is not being embraced may still exist among some of the farming community, as Food Agility CRC chief executive officer Richard Norton said while closing the summit: "the train has already left the station, digital agriculture is here, it's happening".
So are you on board?
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