- A new decision support tool, the ‘Agri-analytics Hub,’ is being developed to enhance farm profitability and sustainability.
- The $4 million project is a collaboration between Food Agility CRC, NGIS, Farmanco, Curtin University’s CCDM, and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
- The tool will allow farmers to analyze crop performance and profitability with scientific rigor at an in-paddock scale.
- It aims to support farmers in making evidence-based decisions for management changes, such as altering fertilizer rates.
- The project is seen as a step towards meeting the increasing global demand for sustainably produced food and providing evidence of such practices.
Introduction to the Agri-analytics Hub
In a significant development for the agricultural sector, a collaborative effort is developing a new digital decision support tool known as the ‘Agri-analytics Hub.’ This initiative is a partnership between Food Agility CRC, NGIS, Farmanco, Curtin University’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. The project, valued at $4 million, is set to offer a scientific approach to analyzing crop performance and farm profitability.
Scientific Rigor in Precision Agriculture
The Agri-analytics Hub aims to fill a current gap in precision agriculture by providing a scientifically validated method for farmers to generate maps and analyze on-farm trials. This is a departure from existing methods, which lack a robust scientific basis and addresses the growing need for tools to enhance sustainability and reduce farm emissions.
Decision-Making Based on Science
The tool is designed to support farmers in making informed decisions about farm management, such as adjusting fertilizer rates, with a foundation in scientific analysis. Dr. Julia Easton, the project leader from CCDM, asserts that this tool will give growers the confidence that their decisions are backed by science.
Enhancing Farm Profitability and Climate Resilience
Professor Mark Gibberd, CCDM Director, notes that the Agri-analytics Hub will enable farmers to utilize their data and equipment to drive profitability and manage risk, particularly in a variable climate. This capability is crucial for farmers to test solutions and estimate the economic impact of their adoption.
Meeting Global Sustainability Demands
The project arrives when there is an increasing global call for sustainable food production and the ability to demonstrate such practices. Dr. Mick Schaefer, CEO of Food Agility, emphasizes the importance of evidence-based decision-making in establishing sustainability credentials. The digital tool is anticipated to be a cost-effective solution that integrates with existing systems and processes, with significant implications for the national agricultural landscape.