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Monday, 21 January 2019 05:52

CSIRO launches analytics platform to provide agricultural data

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Digital Agriculture Services chief executive Anthony Wilmott. Digital Agriculture Services chief executive Anthony Wilmott. Supplied

The CSIRO and rural technology start-up Digital Agriculture Services have jointly created an analytics platform to provide reliable, independent and robust farm data.

In a statement, the CSIRO said the new Rural Intelligence Platform used artificial intellignece, machine learning and cloud-based geospatial technology to deliver its results.

It will draw on trusted data sources to obtain statistics on productivity, water access, yield, land use, crop type, rainfall and drought impact.

The Rural Intelligence Platform uses satellite imagery to track paddocks and their performance over time. It also incorporates information from Australia’s digital soil map while climate information is interpreted to show drought, frost, heat stress for livestock and other risks.

“The platform brings together in one place and refines a range of technologies developed by CSIRO in order to provide a picture of what has happened on a property over the years as well as the current situation,” CSIRO Agriculture and Food deputy director Dr Michael Robertson said.

“The Rural Intelligence Platform will help the agribusiness community [to] calculate the risks associated with certain investments or management decisions.”

Digital Agriculture Services claimed economic decisions affecting about $125 billion of agriculture were based on unreliable or incomplete data.

“The platform provides accurate information that can help to identify vulnerability or the most promising options for investment that will build resilience,” Dr Robertson said.

“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.”

DAS chief executive Anthony Wilmott said: “Digital agriculture is far more than just on-farm technology, it’s also about improving off-farm decision making and 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 – ensuring that farmers, business, policy makers and anyone invested along the agricultural ecosystem has the right rural data to make more informed decisions.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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