News story

​Smart farming with digital data

A new partnership with CSBP will give students and staff at Muresk Institute valuable experience with field cropping trials on the Muresk Institute farm.

For the 2018 growing season, CSBP is coordinating a number of paddock scale trials as part of the On Farm Experimentation Project, managed by Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre.

Lead researcher for the project is Dr Simon Cook, the Premier’s Fellow in Agriculture and Food.

“The objective of this project is to inspire greater uptake of precision agriculture by providing famers with practical insights from the collection of data sets from on-farm trials, including Muresk Institute,” he said.

“Until now fertiliser and soil improvement regimes have only been researched and proven through small plot trials. This project will introduce a new method of conducting farming input trials through data mining techniques to establish trends and patterns in the data.

“Growers can then use the data to more effectively manage fertiliser inputs.

“The trial will enable in-field real-time estimations of plant nutrient content in crop species, which for Muresk will include wheat, canola and barley.”

Muresk Institute General Manager Prue Jenkins said the trial would make use of soil and moisture sensors which were recently installed onsite as part of SMART Farm technology, unveiled at the recent FarmSmart Showcase.

“Muresk is WA’s first demonstration site for SMART Farm and hosting these trials will further embed Muresk as a skills hub for modern agriculture in WA,” she said.

“Students currently studying at Muresk Institute may also be involved with the collection of data and corresponding physical plant samples.

“The trial will be designed to fit in with the campus’s existing machinery and cropping program so it can be maintained as part of normal cropping operations.

“With our state of the art facilities, current and future members of the agriculture industry will have the opportunity to engage with novel agricultural technological solutions and see them in action.”