Farmers Struggle to Prove Sustainability due to Failed Technology


Summary: Australian farmers face challenges in proving their sustainability credentials to overseas markets due to failed farm technology. However, new advancements are emerging to address this issue.

Farmers in Australia are being asked to demonstrate that they are producing food sustainably in order to maintain access to overseas markets. However, the use of farm robots and artificial intelligence technology has been largely unsuccessful in tracking sustainability. This has hindered farmers’ ability to prove their sustainability credentials. Fortunately, there are now companies trialling new technology on-farm that show promise in addressing these challenges.

One major obstacle faced by farmers is the limited access to fast internet in rural areas, making it impossible to use advanced technology. However, connectivity in these areas is improving, thanks to companies like Starlink and OneWeb that use low earth orbit satellites. Start-ups are also offering farm-wide Wi-Fi that extends coverage across the farm using mobile networks or satellite connections. Additionally, various companies have developed technology to help farmers monitor irrigation systems, milk production, effluent, and fuel usage.

Once farmers have access to reliable connectivity, they have a range of products at their disposal to measure and improve sustainability. For example, Downforce Technologies offers satellite reports that track sustainability activities over time, providing farmers with insights into carbon levels, biodiversity, and water usage. Companies like Treasury Wine Estates are utilizing robots and data collection systems in their vineyards to monitor grape production and adjust their management based on climatic conditions. Sundown Pastoral Company is leading the way in renewable energy usage by producing two-thirds of the energy needed to run its cotton gin using solar power and batteries, in addition to developing a hydrogen and hydrous ammonia plant for producing green fertilizers and fuels.

These advancements in farm technology offer hope for farmers in proving their sustainability credentials and maintaining access to overseas markets. Although challenges still exist, the emergence of new technologies and connectivity solutions is paving the way for a more sustainable and technologically advanced agriculture industry.

Tags: Australian farmers, sustainability, farm technology, connectivity, agriculture industry