Farmers taking on the wild west of agtech

Farmers taking on the wild west of agtech

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evokeAG. 2020 will shed light on how technology and data can help you make better decisions on your property.


Story sponsored by evokeAG.

WA farmers Brad Jones and Kelly Pearce insist there is a simple strategy for embracing new technologies on farm: know your weaknesses. Only then, they say, will you be able to adopt the most effective agtech solutions for your operations.

Brad and Kelly are set to take to the stage at AgriFutures Australia's agrifood tech event, evokeAG. where they will shed light on better decision making using data and how technology has become crucial to their on-farm decision making.

What's the pay-off for some in-depth data analysis? For Brad Jones, it was a 15 per cent return on investment for their property called Bungulla just outside Tammin in WA.

Brad has always been an early adopter of technology on his wheat, barley, canola and export hay enterprise and describes himself as a guinea pig striving for continuous improvement.

"When you interpret the data, make a decision based off that data, and then see a strong ROI, well that's the real kicker," he says.

Brad is looking forward to sharing the challenges, the opportunities and how the technology he has been using has become a vital part of their business at evokeAG. this February.

Joining Brad on the two-day program is a host of national and international speakers who'll share their ideas on how we can challenge the conventions of what we grow, how we grow it and what we eat.

Under the theme of `Food Farm Future', the newly released program will include panel discussions, breakout sessions, industry speakers and support for start-ups and agrifood tech businesses.

Must-see sessions include: 'Reading the fine print: Traceability in the supply chain', 'Producer led innovation', 'Are we treating soil like dirt?' and 'Investing in agtech - insider tips'.

Kelly Pearce, a grain and prime lamb producer from Yealering in WA, will also take to the stage and will be shining a light on how we can improve productivity through precision agriculture.

Kelly's 16 years in agricultural research has provided her with a unique lens on what we need to do to further excel agtech adoption across the industry.

"We need to push the systems that better facilitate in-season decision making. There is a sense of frustration out there as we collect so much data and use this technology every day," she said.

"But we need to better utilise this data on farm and move to more real-time business intelligence. evokeAG. is an opportunity to meet all the players involved in our industry, to unite minds and generate ideas on how we do this."

For Brad, evokeAG. is the event where you discover the latest technologies and on-farm trends.

"Our property is 25km long and there is a huge variance in rainfall, temperature and wind. The technology I use provides me with a data set which I can use to back my decisions on what I produce and where I produce it," he said.

"It's a management decision style which is backed by the numbers. I'm comfortable with using technology to make these choices but for the farmers out there who are feeling overwhelmed by what's out there, this is a great event to get exposed to the opportunities."

AgriFutures Australia's John Harvey said the agrifood tech event would coincide with one of the toughest droughts ever faced in Australia.

But, he added, we need to work together and share the stories of how science and technology can come together to address our challenging farming conditions.

"Our farming delegates said the evokeAG. 2019 event left them feeling motivated and inspired," John said.

"It's an opportunity to uncover the technologies which can increase water efficiencies, to uncover emerging drought-resilient industries and to share stories of success and triumph."

Kelly Pearce said the discounted primary producer ticket is a drawcard for farmers who have already flagged the date in their diaries.

"evokeAG. is a who's who in the zoo of agtech," she explained.

"The networking opportunities are incredible and it's a chance to step away from what you do every day, hear new ideas and leave the event feeling inspired to do something different on your farm."

Elders has joined evokeAG. 2020, as the Platinum Partner for the second consecutive year. Elders Managing Director and CEO, Mark Allison, said the partnership is an ideal fit to mature the innovation ecosystem and take the industry to new heights.

"Elders has been fostering agricultural innovation and driving its adoption with farmers for 180 years," he said.

"Businesses like ours have day-to-day, mutually beneficial and trusted relationships with producers - and I believe we are playing an increasingly vital role in connecting them with relevant R&D solutions."

evokeAG. 2020 will take place in Melbourne at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building on February 18 and 19. Tickets are available online, with discounted group, student and primary producer delegate passes also available.

Visit to see the full evokeAG. 2020 program. To contribute to their food, farm and future conversations, use the #evokeAG hashtag and follow evokeAG on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Story sponsored by evokeAG.