A new future for State Government-owned research centres is being heralded with the planned establishment of two AgTech demonstration farms in the South East.
As reported, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone announced a partnership between the State Government and an Australian Agribusiness to trial emerging agricultural technologies.
To be done at the Struan and Kybybolite research farms, the trial will focus on the livestock sector.
The South Australian Government recognises the importance of regional research centres. The announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addresses the diversification of the research farms to encourage growth in the uptake of cutting-edge technology.
It is imperative to encourage the farmers to adopt new technology as well as the use of demonstration farms with data accessible to all.
The Digital Farm, which is an AgTech demonstration site, will allow farmers to experience AgTech solutions in a real-world context from monitoring stock and crops to on-farm connectivity.
Once the farms are developed, primary producers will be able to experience relevant AgTech and latest animal genetics and pasture varieties, as well as modern-day water utilisation, disease management and grazing strategies.
It is challenging for farmers to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and change in farming practices, especially when they are often consumed by the day-to-day running of their businesses and properties.
The strategic partnership is valuable as it will develop and lead a coalition of research organisations, key suppliers and government agencies to collectively help farmers from research through to commercialisation.
Who are Involved?
This partnership at the Struan and Kybybolite research centres will allow for more achievements and to ultimately increase the productivity of farmers in the State.
There are opportunities across the regional research centres to attract private investment and work together with the Government to grow the adoption of AgTech for South Australian producers.
The partnership will form part of the Thomas Elder Institute, the company’s newly established research, development and extension facility.
Member for MacKillop Nick McBride explained that it was fantastic for the State Government to be establishing this partnership in the South East.
The South East has such a proud and vibrant agriculture sector and this partnership is a great result for the region.
Benefits of Agtech Demonstration Farms
- It will allow local farmers as well as those from across the state to come and see the benefits the adoption of AgTech could have to their businesses.
- The company’s focus on digital agriculture innovation and development and extensive agronomy and adviser network will deliver data-driven insights to assist its clients.
- This government-industry collaboration will enable a world-class sustainable farming enterprise that will provide a plethora of activities that include:
- A platform for new research activities
- Ground-truthing of new technologies
- Demonstration of the latest commercial products
- Being a resource for ongoing industry education
- The development of Struan and Kybybolite farms will provide a strong link between the cutting-edge research happening in South Australia, both nationally and internationally.
- This will cover digital agriculture and data insights and the implementation of those developments by farmers to improve their productivity and strengthen their businesses.