The rise of producer led innovation

The future of our horticulture and agriculture industries relies on innovation and the skills, knowledge and adaptability of its workforce. Enterprising Australian farmers in Agtech start-ups are creating solutions and building new technology to problems they experience. SuniTAFE too, is training people with the skills they need in digital farming, while also promoting creativity, problem solving and digital literacy in helping them to become innovators in farming.

Within the past decade a number of dynamic, small Agtech companies have emerged in Australia breaking new ground in digital farming. It’s no surprise that many of these innovative people were raised in farming communities and family farms who are accustomed to exploring ways to improve their farming practices. Each share a common desire to discover new practices and technology that make farming more efficient, productive and environmentally sustainable.

SwarmFarm Robotic Agriculture began in 2012 with a vision to create farming systems for a more sustainable future. As farm machinery was becoming ever more complicated, larger and expensive, the SwarmFarm team sought an alternative and innovative approach.

Swarms of small, nimble autonomous farm machinery perform the same tasks as large conventional machinery, yet with precision, more economically, and an environmentally sustainable use of chemicals. SwarmFarm are inspiring farmers who can see ways to implement robotics for their own needs. To date, SwarmFarm have delivered their robotic platforms as spray applicators, turf mowers, and slashers to commercial growers.

AgriDigital have developed a world-class, cloud-based commodity management platform that is transforming the way grain is captured, stored and sold. In 2015, AgriDigital co-founders adapted the Blockchain database system as a secure network shared by suppliers, storage facilities, freight carriers, and customers.

AgriDigital software products include a contracting and reconciliation module, a transaction and storage module, and a connections module, linking all stakeholders during every step of the process from paddock to delivery of commodities. AgriDigital management systems are being adopted commercially, both nationally and internationally.

FluroSat have taken crop health monitoring to the next level. Applying the latest in remote sensor satellite imagery, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, and accurate localised weather forecasting, FluroSat systems help farmers grow more with less while ensuring the sustainability of the environment.

Founder and CEO, Dr. Anastasia Volkova, has won multiple awards for her pioneering technology. FluroSat’s crack team of Engineers and Scientists have developed digital monitoring systems that accurately measure nutrient, nitrogen, moisture, and stress levels throughout crop growth stages. This data can precisely dictate the quantity of nutrients and pesticides required and where they are needed to ensure optimum crop health and yield.

SuniTAFE SMART Farm utilises some of the latest technologies in sensor monitoring, farm management systems, robotics, and Virtual Reality training systems. We are preparing students in cutting edge digital farm practices and providing a real setting to test crops in a SMART farming environment.

SuniTAFE is proud to be supporting the future prosperity of farming through embracing the possibilities of technology, and collaborating with Agtech innovators and growers to innovate and solve problems.