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AgLife: Making the most of data collection

Whatever you call it – Agtech, precision agriculture, digital agriculture, agricultural internet of things – it seems to be everywhere.

But few people seem to be able explain exactly what it does or how it can be used by farmers to make better decisions and ultimately more money. 

Birchip Cropping Group, with support from the State Government, is running a series of one-day introductory workshops next month to help growers identify the right precision-agriculture solutions to help make their farm businesses more productive, profitable and sustainable. 

Outgoing BCG chief executive Chris Sounness said  while precision agriculture and data collected from various pieces of machinery could potentially help growers make better decisions, the industry was still in its infancy. And, like any infant, there was still a lot of trial and error required to learn the best ways to do things.

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“Most farmers already have the core PA technologies in place, it’s just that nobody has explained the capabilities of that equipment to them, the value of the data generated or how they or their agronomist can use that data to make a difference on farm,” he said.

One-day workshops will help reduce the trial and error required to implement effective PA practices on farms. 

A series of more advanced two-day PA clinics will be in mid-September.

Adrian Roles, leading digital agronomist, Tocal College lecturer and farmer from Young in NSW, and BCG’s Cameron Taylor will deliver one-day introductory PA workshops in Birchip, August 13; St Arnaud, August 15; Hopetoun, August 20; Kaniva, August 21; Longerenong, August 22; and Ararat, August 23.

Topics covered will include –

• An introduction to PA – what is it and why should you care?

• The benefits of PA – digging through the vendor hype to find the gold.

• What do I have and what do I need? Undertaking a PA audit of your farm business.

• It does what now? – how to gain more value from tech you already have.

• Planting the seed – developing a PA plan that makes money for you.

• Getting agro – working with your agronomist to build PA into your farming system.

• Machinery, soil and other data – you’re collecting it, now find out how to use it. 

• The future of PA and how to prepare for it.

People can visit BCG website to register, or contact Phillip Guthrie, Innovation Projects and Partners leader on 0422 570 071 or email for more information. Spaces are limited so register early to avoid disappointment.

The entire July 31, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 31, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!