$1.5 billion is invested each year in agricultural and rural R&D in Australia. This has contributed towards a 2.8 per cent per annum productivity growth over the past three decades and led to the application of new technologies across the agribusiness sector.
Through a series of projects to be rolled out in coming months, the two organisations will develop data-driven solutions for more efficient and sustainable farming.
The partnership will draw on CSIRO’s expertise in data science research and engineering, and proven track record of agricultural innovation. Combined with Ruralco’s on-ground network, the partnership offers potential to deliver new digital solutions to farmers throughout the country.
The joint areas of focus for CSIRO and Ruralco will include:
- Exploring the potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones in long-range livestock detection to improve muster effectiveness
- Nutrient and fertiliser management in areas of high conservation value, such as the Great Barrier Reef
- The development of long-range sensing to automate and streamline operations, including water management, livestock safety and security
- Adaptation of geospatial tools to provide an interface between Ruralco customers and their advisers, making use of real time data for improved decision making and planning.
Travis Dillon, CEO and Managing Director of Ruralco said he was delighted to be working with CSIRO to improve farm practices and better manage the environment