Longerenong College near Horsham is ploughing ahead with providing agricultural students access to the latest in agriculture technology, backed by the Victorian Government.
New machinery and other equipment including a new airseeder, self-propelled boomspray, variable rate fertiliser spreader and remote sensing equipment has arrived in time for planting this year’s cereal, pulse and oilseed crops.
The investment is part of the AgTIDE Demonstration of Agricultural Technology Applications (DATA) Farm Project, establishing a 1000-hectare demonstration farm at the college supported by more than $2.5 million from the Victorian Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund.
The AgTIDE DATA Farm Project gives students and industry the opportunity to get hands-on experience with what the latest innovations in digital agriculture can do for a commercial grain farm.
The DATA farm will use a network of sensors and software platforms to help collect information, allowing students and farmers to see first-hand how this technology can be used to make evidence-based decisions for a season ahead.
One example is a top-soil mapper, which measures soil fertility across the paddock and shares this information so extra nutrition can be allocated only to the zones of the paddock that need it, allowing more efficient fertiliser use.
The new machinery and equipment will be complemented by an Innovation Centre where visitors to the college will be able to see real-time data from the farm and learn how agtech is driving improved farm performance.
Support for the DATA Farm is just one way the Victorian Government is helping farmers harness the benefits of digital technology to improve farm productivity and profitability.
Victoria’s On-Farm Internet of Things Trial is also supporting farmers to adopt digital technologies across horticulture, sheep, grains and dairy industries.
The Government is also helping provide farmers with the skills they need to make the most out of new on-farm technology through the Smarter, Safer Farms initiative.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“Digital agriculture has been identified as an area of significant growth and value – we’re making sure Victoria is at the forefront of the latest in agtech.”
“By investing in the next generation of agriculture, we’re backing our agriculture industry’s future and helping make farming more safe, productive and profitable.”
Quote attributable to John Goldsmith, Longerenong College General Manager
“The DATA Farm is a fantastic development for, not only Longerenong College, but the entire Australian grains industry. The project is really gathering momentum and it’s extremely exciting watching the transformation of the college farm and the overall college.”