AgTech innovation soars through $700,000 in growth funding

Nine innovative agricultural technologies benefitting primary production and agribusiness across the state, have received over $700,000 in grants through the State Government’s AgTech Growth funding.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven said the funding will accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative agricultural technologies in South Australia’s agricultural sector.

The funding provides grants of up to $100,000 to projects that address a specific industry challenge in areas that focus on:

  • digital agricultural software or hardware such as sensors, imagery, precision ag, data stewardship
  • smart farm equipment such as robotics, machinery or automation
  • supply chain technology such as traceability.

Projects set to benefit from the AgTech Growth funding include:

  • McLaren Vale Wine Grape and Tourism Association – towards creating high-resolution digital vineyard maps of the McLaren Vale wine region.
  • Beston Global Food Company – to digitally capture the reduction in methane gas emissions from dairy cows from the use of food supplements in a controlled trial on two South Australian dairy farms.
  • Trust Provenance – towards a pilot project to implement traceability software to track the grain journey from the paddock to Coopers Brewery to make beer and eventually export barley to global brewers.
  • Coolsan – towards developing an effective ‘in-box’ hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) generating product to help maintain the quality and reduce the spoilage of raw agricultural commodities throughout medium and long transportation journeys.
  • Flux Robotics Pty Ltd – to build and demonstrate a mechanical weeding system initially for the horticultural sector before being scaled up for broadacre productions.
  • Blue Farm Intelligence Pty Ltd – towards a pilot program to develop a rapid design & software product prototype to track and trace oysters during their life cycle including cool chain temperature logging.
  • Australian Pork Research Institute Ltd – towards developing lab-on-a-chip sensing system to objectively assess biomarkers in real-time which are reflective of pain, health and wellbeing of the animal, replacing current subjective and costly measures, and once substantiated, can be expanded to other livestock industries.
  • Cropify Pty Ltd – towards developing a Smart Classification system that uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to identify defects in, and classify, small red lentils (and eventually other pulses) with the aim of eventually replacing the current subjective based assessments of pulses classification.
  • Amanda Mader (Gumpara Wines) – towards producing and installing three ‘load cells’ in a vineyard demonstration site to enable the continuous log of berry weight for analysing the relationship between environmental factors such as heat waves and rainfall to the pattern of berry weight gain or shrinkage during the period between the ripening of the grapes and harvest.

For further information on AgTech Gowth funding

pir.sa.gov.au/research/agtech/agtech_growth_fund

Quotes

Attributable to Clare Scriven

This AgTech growth funding will provide significant productivity increases and employment opportunities within our agriculture industries.

South Australian farmers have a long standing and proud history of being some of the most innovative in the world, and this funding will boost the opportunities to advance their AgTech, not just on farm but throughout the agriculture supply chain.

These projects will help our primary producers overcome challenges and barriers they have identified and I’m looking forward to seeing firsthand how these projects are delivered over the coming months.

Aattributable to Erin Leggatt, Chief Executive Office McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA)

This project will allow us to ensure producers always have access to relevant mapping data, which will provide McLaren Vale grape growers greater opportunities to test and apply AgTech solutions in their vineyard operations.

Not having ongoing access to detailed maps, tailor-made to suit new agricultural technologies, was identified by MVGWTA as a significant barrier to producers being able to apply new AgTech innovations in their businesses. We are grateful to the support of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions in facilitating the ongoing uptake of technological innovation in the region.

Furthermore, the maps created through this project will also provide producers with in-depth vineyard data, allowing them to manage their operations in a more wholistic manner and assisting them to apply more sustainable practices and meet their commitments under the Sustainable Vineyard Australia program.

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