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Digital farm projects

Overview

MLA’s digital farms contribute to initiatives around trialling and demonstrating on-farm connectivity and digital agriculture technologies. It involves a combination of programs and activities including enabling credentials through the CN30 program and beef sustainability initiatives and increasing the productivity of red meat businesses. Together, digital farms address barriers to the adoption of digital technologies and data analytics and increase the potential for wide-scale impact beyond the farmgate.

The smart farms MLA has invested in have implemented technologies focused on a range of different use cases. Multiple technology solutions were installed to address each application to allow the solutions to be compared and broadly test the technology readiness across the industry.

Core activities

The following use cases were investigated in the Digital Farms program. The use cases and which solution providers investigated each, are summarised in the table below:

  • water management
  • pasture and soil management
  • data integration
  • livestock tags
  • fuel management
  • infrastructure management
  • smart weather stations.

Benefits to industry

The Australian and global media provides evidence of a raft of digital livestock solutions that are apparently ready for producers to adopt and will make their business more efficient. Yet on the other hand producers Australia-wide are either having difficulty in accessing these solutions, and or understanding the value proposition. Similarly, they are often unable to find solution suppliers that can provide a simple to understand whole of farm digital solution.

The Digital Farm program has demonstrated the benefit to industry of MLA orchestrating such an opportunity for global solution providers and producers to better understand what is deployable today to positively impact businesses in the red meat industry.

V.DIG.2022 - Romani Digital Farm

Project Title

Objective

Use Cases Investigated

Date published

Romani Pastoral Digital Livestock 4.0 Management, Installation and Adoption support

The appointment of an experienced consultant with hands-on professional farm management business experience to co-develop and co-deliver Romani Pastoral Company Digital Livestock 4.0 Management, Installation and Adoption support for 2019-2022.

  • evaluation report

In progress

Adoption of Wildeye ag-technology at Romani Pastoral Co.’s Redbank Station (as part of the MLA Digital Livestock 4.0 Pilot) 

To deploy ag technology products at Redbank and have these products used and assessed by the operators.

  • water management
  • smart weather stations
  • fuel management

28 May 2021

MLA – Romani Pastoral Co Digital Livestock 4.0 2019/2020 Pilot 

The project objectives were to install a network that would support various use cases as set out by Romani Pastoral company and MLA requirements. 

  • water management
  • infrastructure management

14 June 2021

Romani Pastoral Company – MLA Digital Livestock 4.0 2019/2020 

There is a need for the industry to evaluate under practical conditions a range of technologies being offered by the key solution providers.

  • water management
  • infrastructure management
  • pasture and soil management
  • fuel management

27 May 2021

Goanna Ag’s low-cost sensors and connectivity to optimise water management across farm and significantly improve on-farm efficiencies (Redbank)

To assess the value of currently available sensor technology for the livestock sector to assist producers in decision making, and to potentially inform future R&D investment where gaps are identified.

 

  • water management
  • infrastructure management
  • pasture and soil management
  • smart weather stations

26 February 2021

 

Goanna Ag’s low-cost sensors and connectivity to optimise water management across farm and significantly improve on-farm efficiencies (Windy)

To assess the value of currently available sensor technology for the livestock sector to assist producers in decision making, and to potentially inform future R&D investment where gaps are identified.

 

  • water management
  • infrastructure management
  • pasture and soil management
  • smart weather stations

26 February 2021

Smart Paddock deployment of sheep and cattle tracking tags at Romani Pastoral

To demonstrate the digital solution on a real working farm, gain valuable feedback from both Romani staff and external visiting producers, validate collar compatibility with third party LoRaWAN networks, specifically the NNNCo network, and to begin discussions with other related platforms for data sharing and further integration.

  • animal tags

28 April 2020

McGregor Diesel Fuel Management

The project was designed to monitor and manage fuel usage and levels across the fleet of Romani Pastoral Company including their business and personal assets.

  • infrastructure management
  • fuel management

2 November 2021

Regrow - MLA’s Digital Livestock 4.0 Pilot at Romani Pastoral Co 

To track the pasture performance across paddocks to optimise the allocation of herds and to use FluroSense Nitrogen recommendations to optimise Nitrogen application and create nutrient variable rate (VR) application maps.  

 

  • pasture and soil management

 

30 May 2021

Farmo sensors trial to improve efficiency, safety and quality at Romani Pastoral Co 

The objective was to demonstrate the capacity of digital technology on a working farm and show how the property owner can benefit from accessing and analysing data collected remotely. 

  • water management
  • infrastructure management

2 Mar 2021

Water monitoring in the digital age: Reducing stress and improving the efficiency of the “Water Run”.

Reducing staff stress and travel time need for the water run.  

  • water management

 

8 June 2021

MLA Digital Farm: ICT International sensors providing better outcomes in environmental monitoring

The Romani Pastoral Company project will demonstrate technology that was not available previously, or willing to be provided at the time of a potential Carwoola Pastoral Company Phase 2 project. 

  • water management
  • pasture and soil management
  • smart weather stations

31 May 2021

Digital Livestock 4.0 2019/2020 Pilot
Farmbot Romani Digital Farm Water Sensing Deployment Trial

To provide digital solutions under MLA’s Digital Livestock 4.0 2019/2020 pilot to Romani Pastoral Company, specifically to provide water tank and trough monitoring using satellite connectivity.

  • water management

 

10 May 2021

AxisTech Device Deployment - Windy Station

To demonstrate hardware devices available in the market as requested by producers, industry groups, solution providers, researchers and universities.  

  • water management
  • pasture and soil management
  • smart weather stations

1 March 2021

Cibo Labs – Satellite Assisted Forage Budgeting

The overarching objectives of the demonstrator were to provide Romani Pastoral Company (RPC) and other participating solution providers with a ‘near real-time’ operational satellite image-based pasture monitoring service for the entire property aggregation with a specific focus on providing weekly estimates of pasture biomass to support forage budgeting and stocking decisions.

  • pasture and soil management

 

30 June 2021

V.DIG.0017 – Carwoola Digital Ag 4.0

 

Project title

Objective

Uses cases investigated

Date published

Carwoola Digital Pilot - Post 12-month device installation review - from the Hype to the Happening

The appointment of an experienced consultant with hands-on professional farm management business experience to:

·         drive MLA’s precision/digital agriculture program

·         co-develop and co-deliver MLA’s pending graduate program

·         provide a long history of successful Australian farm management knowledge into other MLA program areas and pending strategy developments.

  • evaluation report

12 February 2020

Immersive Reality IoT Device Integration Pilot

The main aims of the project were to; integrate the existing InDepth™ product with IoT devices from Carwoola; import map data for Carwoola; and provide MLA staff with a demonstration of the mixed reality capability. 

  • data integration

1 July 2021

Carwoola data leverage pilot for research and extension activities  

The objective of this pilot project was to better understand the opportunities, once converged data is integrated to a single site; and the future capacity to utilise data convergence platforms like Pairtree, for industry research extension.

  • data integration

15 September 2021