Producer groups and high schools embrace agtech adoption


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AgriFutures Australia’s Producer Technology Uptake Program (PTUP) has enabled a further 28 producer groups and networks to design bespoke projects to increase technology adoption on-farm and on-boat.

Building on the success of the first two rounds, AgriFutures Australia has announced Round 3 of its Producer Technology Uptake Program (PTUP). For the first time, agricultural high schools are among the list of producer networks set to receive funding for bespoke projects aimed at overcoming barriers to agtech adoption.

PTUP aims to establish a national network of farmers, fishers and foresters that champion and accelerate innovation and practice change on-farm. The program works with well-connected producer groups who know and understand their local producers’ needs, including knowledge gaps, skills and experience that prevent them from implementing agtech innovation.

AgriFutures Australia Innovation Manager, Ulicia Raufers said, “It made sense to expand Round 3 to include agricultural high schools, many of whom have a focus on enabling their students to learn, understand and incorporate technology on farm. The schools we selected have a deep connection ‘back to the farm’ – and we’re confident their projects will help drive agtech adoption.”

The third-round projects are focused on trialling a range of technologies covering areas such as moisture sensing, weather monitoring, digital irrigation, IoT (Internet of things), biosecurity, connectivity and weed detection. The themes of the programs are broad yet specific in application.

“We’re buoyed by the interest in the Program and are seeing the benefits of partnering with existing groups, who know their patch, but require support to bridge the gap between the opportunity and the tech solution – PTUP does just that,” added Ms Raufers.

The national initiative rolls-out program activities over a 12-month period to drive peer-to-peer learning and is delivered across three tranches: farm-tech capacity building planning workshops, tech adoption grants and access to an online Community of Practice (CoP).

To date, the Program has engaged 56 producer groups and 11 agricultural high schools, directly impacting 2,700 producers nationally, across many industries and enterprise sizes. The program has a footprint in all states and territories except for the Northern Territory.

Successful producer groups and schools selected for PTUP Round 3:

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St Catherine’s Catholic College Singleton Certified Organic Biodynamic Western Australia Inc
Grain Producers SA Rice Research Australia
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School Perennial Pasture Systems (Girls & Grass Advisory Group)
Northern Australia Crop Research Alliance Western Australian College of Agriculture, Morawa
Crop Research on Production Systems (CROPS) Harden Murrumburrah Landcare Group
Australian Prune Industry Association Inc The Tobacco & Associated Farmers Co-operative Limited
Cradle Coast Authority on behalf of Ag Logic Western Australian College of Agriculture, Harvey
Fruit Growers Tasmania Inc. Western Australian College of Education, Cunderdin
Lucerne Australia Incorporated Rockhampton State High School
Corinda State High School Unity College Inc.
Meridian Ag on behalf of 5 Bees Sustainable Horticulture on behalf of Duncan Macadamia Monitoring
Hagley Farm School Agricultural Learning Centre Moorabool Catchment Landcare Group
Manjimup Senior High School Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc
SheepMetriX Coomandook Area School

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