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New analytics platform to future-proof Australian farms

An innovative new platform that combines artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cloud-based geospatial technology was recently launched by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and a rural technology start-up to deliver reliable, independent and robust farm data and analytics.

According to a recent press release, the Rural Intelligence Platform is the first ever software to comprehensively assess and monitor rural land anywhere in Australia.

It draws on information from trusted data sources on productivity, water access, yield, land use, crop type, rainfall, drought impact and more.

The platform brings together in one place and refines a range of technologies developed by the agency.

This will provide a picture of what has happened on a property over the years as well as the current situation.

Moreover, the platform uses satellite imagery in order to track paddocks and their performance over time.

Information from Australia’s digital soil map is incorporated and climate information is interpreted to show drought, frost, heat stress for livestock and other risks.

In addition, the platform will be able to help the agribusiness community calculate the risks associated with certain investments or management decisions.

An estimated A$ 125 billion annually in agricultural economic decisions in Australia are based on unreliable or incomplete data, according to the rural tech start-up.

The platform will address this as it provides accurate information that can help to identify vulnerability or the most promising options for investment that will build resilience.

This is a whole new model for rural analytics which will make it easier to quantify risk and prepare for challenges like climate volatility and change.

By using machine learning algorithms to make sense of the data with clarity that was not possible before, the platform will analyse data from a range of sources.

An AI-initiated Automated Valuation Model, which is capable of valuing rural properties instantly with up to 90% accuracy, is incorporated in the platform.

Previously, this was only possible for residential properties, where there are a wide range of valuation and analytic tools for real estate.

Digital agriculture is far more than just on-farm technology, it is also about improving off-farm decision making.

This platform lays the foundation for Australia to become a leader in new generation agricultural analytics.

This is about supporting the ecosystem that supports the farmer. This guarantees that farmers, business, policy makers and anyone invested along the agricultural ecosystem, has the right rural data to make more informed decisions.

The market for digital agriculture in the Asia Pacific region is estimated to be worth A$ 10-25 billion by 2028, which is fuelled by pressure to meet challenges from population growth and climate change.