Episode 5: How to make good use of data and digital tech

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There are so many digital platforms out there, promising to count your cows, measure your soil carbon and do your finances. So how do know which data collecting applications are going to be most useful?

From GPS-driven tractors, online auctions, weather and climate tracking apps to soil sensors, there is an increasing amount of data available to farmers and agribusiness. But are we actually using this data to the best effect? Data can unlock new opportunities, from greater market access to better knowledge about crops and pasture that can lead to higher productivity and better environmental outcomes.

However, research also shows there’s significant mistrust amongst farmers about the collection and sharing of data. And it’s these concerns which inhibit technology adoption. A lack of data integration can also turn people away (no one wants to use several digital applications, that don’t ‘speak to each other’) So how do we ensure our data is being managed correctly and effectively? Also, what data should we be collecting NOW to be ready to access future opportunities?

Dave Henry, Chief Research Scientist/ Research Leader, Digital Agriculture, CSIRO
A Chief Research Scientist at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, Dr David Henry currently leads the Climate Smart Agriculture Group within CSIRO’s Agriculture & Food Business Unit. Spread across five Australian states, the team has an innovative focus on Climate Adaptation and Sustainability Assessment and Metrics.

Dwain Duxson,  Founder of Farm Tender
Dwain started Farm Tender 11 years ago and it has evolved into an online Marketplace for Ag with over 65,000 member and throughput of $100 million plus in total sales.

He started Farm Tender while he was still running mixed farming operations with his family at Marnoo in Victoria’s Wimmera district.

Jessi Henneken, Research Scientist, Agriculture Victoria Research
Jessi is a research scientist with Agriculture Victoria Research (AVR).

She is currently working on two projects: a detection study on grapevine phylloxera and the Smart Hives project.  She is excited about AVR’s research in integrated pest management, which aims to develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly crop protection practices.