The driving force of Smart Farming is the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the interconnection of digital equipment via the internet. Put simply, in the case of farming, this can mean the relay of data collected by sensors, sent through the internet to be immediately analysed with the results relayed back to a receiving computer or mobile device. These sensors, or actuators, measure a myriad of subject matter.
For instance, soil quality can be measured for its moisture content, nutrient balance, and detect the presence of insects or unwanted organisms. Software residing in a cloud platform analyses the health of the soil using models, prescribing a recommendation for requirements of water, fertiliser and pesticides per square metre. Remote controlled equipment, machines and devices optimise efficiency, productivity and safety.
The SuniTAFE SMART Farm will be a state-of-the-art, purpose-built and grown, training and research facility that will utilise the latest innovations and best practices of digital farming to transform the way horticulture training will occur in the future.
Existing land will be allocated to commodities currently grown in the Sunraysia area, such as: almonds; olives; avocados; grapes; table grapes; citrus; and dried and wine fruit. In addition, land will be allocated for experimental purposes with new and emerging crops. Crops will be planted in consultation with key stakeholders. This will allow for the best possible educational, research and production outcomes.
The SMART Farm will demonstrate new discovery technologies, provide industry and students with the skills and know-how for current and future digital farming jobs. It will be an ‘open door’ facility where farmers, representative bodies, suppliers and researchers are welcome.
The facility will be a showcase for uncompromising excellence in horticulture, and will facilitate genuine industry engagement, collaboration and shared learning between sector experts. Importantly, our training programs will seek to engage school- leavers, career-changers and those already in the industry seeking new skills.
Find out more about the SuniTAFE SMART Farm.