Sustainable Horticulture has been awarded $20,000 as part of AgriFutures Australia’s Producer Technology Uptake Program to design bespoke projects to increase technology adoption on-farm.
Building on the success of the first two rounds, AgriFutures Australia has announced Round 3 of its Producer Technology Uptake Program (PTUP). Walkabout Ag was awarded $20,000 to raise awareness of IoT technology for our direct Horticultural growers group being predominately Macadamias.
PTUP aims to establish a national network of farmers, fishers and foresters that champion and accelerate innovation and practice change on-farm. The program works with well-connected producer groups who know and understand their local producers’ needs, including knowledge gaps, skills and experience that prevent them from implementing agtech innovation.
Sustainable Horticulture states that “This is a great opportunity for all farms in the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers region to start there learning journey from this project and to adopt technology that is relevant to their site. For this region, farms in the Ballina, Byron and the Lismore LGAs will benefit further as the NSW Governments Farms of the Future (FoTF) grant program aligns with PTUPs vision to make agtech even more affordable. If there has been a time to adopt it is now.”
The third-round projects are focused on trialing a range of technologies covering areas such as moisture sensing, weather monitoring, digital irrigation, IoT (Internet of things), biosecurity, connectivity and weed detection. The themes of the programs are broad yet specific in application.
“We’re buoyed by the interest in the Program and are seeing the benefits of partnering with existing groups, who know their patch, but require support to bridge the gap between the opportunity and the tech solution – PTUP does just that,” added Ms Raufers.
The national initiative rolls-out program activities over a 12-month period to drive peer-to-peer learning and is delivered across three tranches: farm-tech capacity building planning workshops, tech adoption grants and access to an online Community of Practice (CoP).
To date, the Program has engaged 56 producer groups and 11 agricultural high schools, directly impacting 2,700 producers nationally, across many industries and enterprise sizes. The program has a footprint in all states and territories except for the Northern Territory.
The energy monitoring devices are being installed as we speak and our light irradiation, plant health and climate Cat M1 system is due any day now. We will be launching some factsheets and begin to gather data to inform some case studies and more.