Wagga Wagga will become home to Australia’s first ‘hands-free’ farm, as part of a new high-tech collaboration between Charles Sturt University and the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre.
The university and the research centre have announced they will partner to build the Global Digital Farm, Australia’s first fully-automated commercial farm, which will demonstrate the ‘future of farming’ through robotics and artificial intelligence.
It will be located at the University’s AgriSciences Research and Business Park — known as AgriPark — at the Wagga Wagga campus, with requisite data, telecommunication and other digital infrastructure to be developed and built over the next three years.
The location is currently operated as a commercial enterprise and incorporates a range of broadacre crops (wheat, canola, barley), as well as a vineyard, cattle and sheep.
Charles Sturt University Professor of Food Sustainability, Niall Blair, said the GDF would be a commercial operation, educational facility and community outreach facility rolled into one:
“This ambitious and unique project will arm Australia’s primary industries workforce with knowledge and technology in crucial fields like data analytics, geospatial mapping, remote sensing, machine learning and cybersecurity,” Blair said.
Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre executive, Richard Norton, said the reality of ‘hands-free’ farming was closer than many realised and would be accelerated by the development and dissemination of technology produced by the GDF:
“Full automation is not a distant concept, there are already mines in the Pilbara operated entirely through automation,” Mr Norton said.
“It won’t be too many years before technology will take farmers out of the field and immerse them in the world of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.
Food Agility, Charles Sturt University and the Riverina will be at the forefront of that transformation in Australia, courtesy of the Global Digital Farm.”
A transformation, indeed. One that will ensure the increasing scope of emerging technologies become further embedded in our food production systems.
The ambitious project is the culmination of many years of calls to better incorporate the merging Fourth-Industrial Revolution with agriculture and farming.
The Global Digital Farm, once up-and-running, will develop and operate:
- Fully autonomous machinery –- robotic tractors, harvesters, survey equipment and drones.
- Artificial intelligence to inform management decisions around sowing, dressing and harvesting.
- A state-of-the-art cyber-secure environment that establishes best practices for management of any emerging cybersecurity risks in food production.
This includes the introduction of new sensor technologies that will measure the interactions between plants, soils and animals, as well as the addition of ‘evidence-based sustainability practices’ and ‘carbon measurement models’.
A new radical transformation is upon us — and this farm isn’t the first step this country has taken.
DAS, established in 2017, is an Australian rural technology company catering to growing appetite for AI-powered agriculture and climate-risk intelligence that sends data to decision makers.
CSIRO and Digital Agriculture Services (DAS) joined forces to open up access to emerging Graincast technology, which has since played a part in growing food security and quality, as well as ‘enhancing environmental resilience’ and ‘nurturing growth’ in the international grains industry.
Graincast technology also uses artificial intelligence to create accurate crop maps and yield predictions at paddock, farm or regional level.
For a few years now, these groups have been rolling out technology that can identify and predict crops, while automatically connecting everything back to the farm.
This includes property boundaries, sales data, soil types, monitoring and yield predictions, along with risk insights on fire, flood, drought stress, productivity and climate.
CSIRO is also responsible for a digitally-enabled farm in southwestern NSW, which is equipped with 100 temperature and humidity probes, 72 soil moisture probes and six weather stations to monitor experiments in crop science, agronomy and farming systems across 290 hectares.
This was the closet to fully-autonomous farming in Australia before this new announcement. It took four years to design and build and required a $11.5 million investment from the government.
Interestingly, the research station replaced CSIRO’s original Ginninderra Experimental Station, which was established just outside Canberra in 1958.
That’s right, over 60 years ago!
This has been a digital shift long in the making.
Make no mistake, language describing ‘positive transformation’ is nothing but a cover.
The introduction of technologies into the food system under the guise of ‘sustainability’ is merely a cover for the real intentions — the Agenda 2030 plan.
Now, in a time of ‘crisis’, significant moves are being made.
Not just in Australian farming — but all across the world.
THE ROCKERFELLER RESET
Many have heard of The Great Reset — a worldwide effort to evolve our economic model for the apparent reason of “putting people and planet at the heart of global value creation”.
Some may be unaware that the economic focus is only one pillar of the New World Transformation.
In fact, the potential for a major paradigm shift is predicted to occur across four pillars: public health, capitalism, climate change and food systems.
The resources we produce and consume are a large talking point for the future of society.
Last year, amidst chaotic lockdowns everywhere, The Washington Post and The Rockefeller Foundation teamed up to bring prominent leaders together to discuss how to build a more ‘sustainable and healthy food system’. One that prioritises the ‘science of nutrition’.
Some may be unaware that The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy and innovation to ‘solve challenges’ related to health, food, power and economic opportunity.
Across one weekend in August, these groups held a number of conversations exploring fresh ideas for rebuilding society and systems as a post-pandemic world takes shape.
‘The Future Reset: Global Food Systems’ examined how coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions had ‘revealed the fragility of global supply chains’.
COVID-19 upended the world’s operating assumptions, including the strength of food systems.
Problem, reaction, solution.
Are we now starting to see the fruits of the vision come to fruition?
This is Agenda 2030 in motion.
Set up the models first, and then implement the real agenda.
New ‘green zones’ and restrictions of movement into ‘protected areas’.
Ensure there is no escape from the smart city dystopia.
For more TOTT News, follow us for exclusive content:
Facebook — Facebook.com/TOTTNews
YouTube — YouTube.com/TOTTNews
Instagram — Instagram.com/TOTTNews
Twitter — Twitter.com/EthanTOTT