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WANTED: Technology for AgTech demo farms

Thursday 19 March 2020

The Marshall Liberal Government is on the search for innovative technology to be showcased at the ground-breaking Struan and Kybobolite AgTech demonstration farms in the south east.


Expressions of Interest are now open for suppliers of innovative products to be showcased at the demonstration farms with the aim to increase AgTech adoption for South Australian farmers to improve productivity across the agriculture sector.

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

"We are calling on more AgTech products for our South East 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," said Minister Whetstone.

"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 South Australia's grain and livestock industries, we want to work with you to showcase and demonstrate the benefits of that to our farmers.

"The Marshall Liberal Government's Growth State initiative focuses on food, wine and agribusiness to grow Gross State Product by three per cent per year and we see the adoption of AgTech as 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 South Australia.

"Farmers from across the state can visit the Struan and Kybybolite demonstration farms and see the technology in action and better understand how adopting this AgTech can 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.

Elders Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mark Allison said the government-industry collaboration at Struan and Kybybolite will create a world-class sustainable farming enterprise that will 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. Fundamentally, what really matters is how the development will address the key issues of productivity, profitability and sustainability," said Mr Allison.

"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."

While the Government is open to considering all types of technology at the farms, examples include:

  • 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 now open and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. To apply visit pir.sa.gov.au/agtech-eoi

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