3 December 2018, Monday

 Australia Top Smart Farming Innovations Site Tour
09:00 – 17:00 site tour new
IoT, Environmental Sensors and Precision Agriculture
Hawkesbury campus, Western Sydney University
western sydney universityAn exciting Internet of Things (IoT) solution is being implemented on Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury campus to assist management of the irrigation of fodder crops with recycled water, and demonstrate precision agriculture for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security students within the School of Science and Health. The Yield is a system of microclimate, soil and environmental sensors connected by 6LoWPAN communications across its Farm Area Network through a gateway to a cloud-based IoT platform. Microclimate meteorological and growing condition data and predictions are developed through an AI learning system and accessible through phone and tablet apps. This data and predictions will be used by the Farm Production Manager for scheduling irrigation for water use efficiency and optimal production.

4 December 2018, Tuesday

09:00 Welcoming Speech, Opening Remarks & Thank You Sponsor Speech by Conference Producer
09:15 Keynote Address: Transforming agriculture using IoT and predictive analytics in boosting efficiency and yield

  • IoT and predictive analytics enable digital transformation of agriculture industry to increase quality, quantity, sustainability and cost effectiveness of producing and harvesting crops
  • IoT allows automatic collection of objective information about soil, water and crop status
  • Agricultural IoT device installations projected to increase from 30 million in 2015 to 75 million in 2020, with average farm generating 4.1 million data points daily in 2050, up from 190,000 in 2014
  • Potential of IoT to transform agricultural efficiency, improve financial performance, and boost yield is best achieved when combined with data analytics and machine learning
HOGARTH-SCOTT-Piers-rounded Piers Hogarth-Scott
National IoT Practice Leader

KPMG Australia
09:45 Precision agriculture raises profitability by maximizing productivity and minimizing cost and environmental damage

  • Maximizing yield with wastage minimization and output maximization across every aspect of farming (reducing fertilizer usage with accurate soil data readings, minimizing water usage with drip irrigation network, more effective seeding for better crop spacing)
  • Minimizing environmental damage with lesser pollutants and contaminants from farming process, striding towards ethically grown natural and healthy produce
  • Increasing farmer productivity by reducing farmer workload and freeing up farmers’ minds for farming challenges, yield and machine productivity
  • Reducing costs with more reliable machinery, use of fertilizers only when needed, removal of pesticides and no overspending on seeds
Dr-Rohan-Rainbow-rounded Dr Rohan Rainbow
Ag Tech Centric
Dr Rohan Rainbow Company Logo
10:15 Morning Refreshment & Networking
10:30 Case Study: Award-winning Cameron’s Nursery utilizes smart wireless sensors to ensure crops health and reduce losses

  • Cameron’s Nursery has employed a complete smart system to monitor soil, water quality, water storage and environmental parameters
  • Automated readings minimize human error influencing manual water quality and storage readings with more frequent readings, greatly improve reading reliability, providing valuable insight into daily, weekly and monthly water quality trends
  • Wireless sensor network improves overall crop yields through providing visibility of indoor and outdoor growing parameters (temperature, luminosity and humidity), which allows immediate intervention at crucial early crop growing stages
Sonja-Cameron-rounded Sonja Cameron

Cameron’s Nursery
 Basic CMYK
11:00 Case Study: Queensland government deploying digital meters to curb spread of banana disease

  • Queensland government has stopped all entry of contract meter readers onto farms and installed digital meters with remote readings
  • Digital meters will avoid need for meter readers to enter properties and prevent spread of banana disease
  • The digital meters, with remote reading on 3G/4G networks, accelerate data access to help farmers in better decision-making on tariff options and energy consumption improvement
Carly-Irving-rounded Carly Irving
General Manager, Customer and Market Operations
Energy Queensland
Greg-Nielsen-rounded Greg Nielsen
General Manager, Customer Care and Revenue Assurance
Energy Queensland
Carly Irving Company Logo
11:30 Australian Digital Phenotyping
Michael-Schaffer-rounded Dr Michael Schaefer
Research Scientist / Translational Phenomics
and Services Team Leader
Australian Plant Phenomics Facility
APPG NCRIS Horizontal
12:00 Using All of That On-Farm Data for Positive Gains
Brooke-Sauer-rounded Brooke Sauer
Digital Agriculture Manager
McGregor Gourlay Agricultural Services
Brooke Sauer's company logo
12:30 Lunch & Networking
13:30 Revolutionary way to kill weeds and boost soil fertility powered by microwaves diminishes weeds by 85% and elevates yield by 35-92%

  • University of Melbourne developed a revolutionary way to combat weeds using trailer-mounted microwave generators with double the power of average microwave oven
  • Only marginally more expensive than using herbicides, microwaving is longer-lasting and improves soil with additional nitrogen released
  • Microwaves can be used in any weather to kill weeds and seeds left in the soil so no issue of regrowth. Without herbicides used, chemical resistance to herbicides is no longer a concern
  • Small field trials in rice, wheat, canola and tomatoes have shown weed reduction by 85% and yield boost of 35-92%
Graham-Brodie-rounded Dr Graham Brodie
Senior Food and Agriculture Lecturer
University of Melbourne
 Graham Brodie logo
14:00 Case Study: University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) pioneering driverless tractors into the era of mass automation

  • These robots can line themselves up and drive over crops, collect and send data to farmers’ computers and perform tasks like spraying, weeding, trimming branches and harvesting fruits
  • Different robotics designed for different crops (vegetables and apples) can conduct various on-farm crop intelligence and manipulation tasks with numerous sensing systems including hyperspectral, thermal, infrared, panoramic vision, stereovision with strobe, LiDAR and GPS that allow assessment of crop properties
  • Flexible platforms allow rapid deployment in new environments in information collection to develop lower-cost or specialized requirement-specific prototypes and for data collection to enable analysis and algorithm development in solving industry problems
Salah-Sukkarieh-rounded Prof Salah Sukkarieh
Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems
The University of Sydney
 Justin Clarke Company Logo
14:30 Developments in Autonomous Tractors and the Commercial Reality

  • Technology underpinning autonomous tractors is relatively advanced and has been developed by the major tractor manufacturers. Farmers currently realize many of these technologies and their benefits now.
  • There is an opportunity for the early release of autonomous tractors in Australia by engaging with OEMs (i.e. John Deere and CNH) to incubate technology before world wide release.
  • Technology companies are emerging that provide aftermarket solutions to make current model tractors autonomous (here and now).
  • Disruptive technology concepts in automation / robotics are pre commercial or in the early stages of commercialization.
Craig-Baillie-rounded Prof Craig Baillie
Director, Centre for Agricultural Engineering & Deputy Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences
University of Southern Queensland
15:00 The Grains Research & Development Corporations (GRDC) New 5-Year Strategic Investment Plan
Nicole-Jensen-rounded Dr Nicole Jensen
General Manager, Genetics and Enabling Technologies
Grains Research and Development Corporation
15:15 Afternoon Refreshment & Networking
15:30 Vertical Farms – Novel Approach to Reducing Waste & Achieving Maximum Yields

  • Introduction to Sprouting Good school system
  • Advancements in technology allowing for greater autonomous operations
  • Seed Sowing, Irrigation, Nutrient Supply, Lighting, Harvesting, Packaging
  • Reduction of Manual Labour handling through Robotics
  • Reduction of Water Usage through climate, watering & recycling controls
  • Reduction of Pest Control through positive pressurised areas
  • Reduction of Produce Waste through better harvesting controls
  • Reduction of Land Footprint
  • Increased Location potential reducing resources wastage
  • Can Vertical Farming Supply the demand?
Scott-Gregory-rounded Scott Gregory
Founder & CEO

Sprouting Good Urban Rooftop Farming
Scott Gregory Logo
16:00 Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) furnishes crucial connectivity for millions of smart sensors to be connected across Australian smart farms

  • Access to technological infrastructure and connectivity to fully utilize farm management technology offered by vendors is a challenge in rural areas
  • LoRaWAN provides low cost, long range, low powered network solution allowing millions of devices to be connected
  • Network coverage of one million acres across rural NSW by end of 2017, with national extension in 2018, built to meet farmers’ coverage requirements in highly demanded farm gate
Darryl-Lyons-ok-rounded Darryl Lyons

16:30 Drones in Ag: Sorting Fact from Fiction – and Predictions
Fiona-Lake-rounded Fiona Lake
Ag Specialist, Photographer & Writer

Licenced Drone Pilot (ReOC, RePL, AROC, night certified)
Fiona Lake Logo
17:00 Closing Remarks by Conference Chairman
Tim-Burrow-rounded Tim Burrow
Agribusiness Australia
Tim Burrow Logo

5 December 2018, Wednesday

09:00 Welcoming Speech, Opening Remarks & Thank You Sponsor Speech by Conference Producer
09:15 Game-changer: Innovative AI climate and rainfall forecasting technology employs big data to prepare farmers for drought season

  • Pressing need for better climate and rainfall forecast tools as predictions by Australian Bureau of Meteorology is based on an old and outdated technique of simulated modelling, which provides inaccurate forecast
  • Climate Modelling Laboratory has developed an innovative climate and rainfall forecast technology based on AI and big data to forecast a specific amount of rainfall for a particular region, allowing monthly and seasonal rainfall prediction
  • This technique has been demonstrated for two agricultural regions of Australia: the wheatbelt of Western Australia and the sugar-growing region of coastal Queensland
John-Abbot-rounded Dr John Abbot
Principal Scientist
Climate Modelling Laboratory
John Abbot logo
09:45 Exemplary Case Study: Australia’s largest co-operative and grain exporter, CBH Group, successfully employs award-winning AgriDigital’s Blockchain to eliminate counterparty risk and track provenance of agri produce

  • CBH Group uses AgriDigital’s blockchain technology to execute real time contracts
  • Seller retains ownership over asset up until receipt of payment from buyer, thereby eliminating counterparty risk
  • The cloud-based transaction platform allows grain growers, buyers and bulk handlers to manage contracts, deliveries, invoices, payments and inventory all in one place
  • Provenance of organic oats from the farm is tracked through the supply chain, including through processing and packaging of oats to ensure that maintenance of organic status through to retailers
Emma_Weston-rounded Emma Weston 
CEO and Co-founder
 Emma Weston - Agri Digital Logo
10:15 Morning Refreshment & Networking
10:30 Case Study: The Yield’s Sensing+ leverages Internet of Things sensors systems and artificial intelligence to help Australian growers make more accurate farm decisions

  • Uses microclimate sensing system to measure data from different points around the farm and provides hyper local predictions based on the farm’s growing conditions by using data analytics and AI
  • Combines wireless sensor networks and localized data to inform  growers on weather and growing conditions to help support the best decisions to make regarding their crops
  • Allows farmers to measure rainfall, water balance, wind speed and direction, evapotranspiration and soil moisture, aiding in better decision making on when to harvest, irrigate, plant, feed and protect the crops
  • Has special features like alerts and custom threshold notifications
Ros-Harvey-rounded Ros Harvey
Founder and Managing Director
The Yield
Ros Harvey logo
11:00 Sophisticated soil analytics, with automated remote sensing, satellite imagery and digital mapping, hones soil efficiency and productivity

  • Automated remote sensing allowing quick collection of high-quality samples using GPS technology provides precise and efficient measurements to help decision-making
  • Soil health analytics on micronutrients, organic matter and pH levels, with attention shifting to microbial level
  • Digital mapping and big data analytics giving 3D pictures of soil based on satellite technology and remote sensing enables management of soil function to intensify production while improving and maintaining soil condition
Jonathan-Medway-rounded Jonathan Medway
Terrabyte Services
Jonathan Medway Logo
11:30 Transforming irrigated agriculture using system automation, IoT and predictive analysis in maximizing water efficiency, crop yield and climate resilience

  • Murrumbidgee Irrigation (one of the largest private irrigation companies in Australia) is in the midst of a $400+M modernization/automation program that is dramatically cutting in-transport water losses (supporting environmental outcomes), whilst providing the digital control systems & infrastructure to reinvent water delivery logistics & on-farm yield optimization
  • Combining powers of automation, IoT & predictive analysis (from catchment, dam, river, irrigation system and farm) promises to enable a transformation in the quality, quantity, sustainability & cost effectiveness of irrigated agriculture in Australia
  • Working with cutting-edge Australian technological industry partners, as well as suppliers and its customers, Murrumbidgee Irrigation is advancing towards a future driven by heavy use of data analytics and machine learning to guide decisions around dam management, irrigation system control & on-farm operation
Alan-Shea-rounded Alan Shea
GM Operations
Murrumbidgee Irrigation
Alan Shea Company Logo
12:00 Water-smart farming: Maximizing irrigation potential through autonomous systems and adaptive control
Craig-Baillie-rounded Prof Craig Baillie
Director, Centre for Agricultural Engineering & Deputy Executive Director, Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences
University of Southern Queensland
12:30 Lunch & Networking
13:30 Bridging the digital skills gap in agriculture

  • Identifying the trends and drivers contributing to a shortfall of digital skills in agriculture
  • Addressing areas of priority in order to build an agricultural workforce capable of supporting a digital sector
John-Mclaughlin-rounded John McLaughlin
CSIRO’s Data61
John Mclaughlin Logo 2
14:00 Innovative soil management techniques: Soil carbon sequestration curtails soil erosion, conserves water and raises productivity

  • Soil carbon sequestration can be achieved through conservation farming, which minimizes soil disturbance and encourages build-up of plant and animal wastes, and cropping of deep-rooted species, whose decomposed roots remain in the soil
  • Leaving crop residues in the field, choosing crop rotations with high-residue plants, using optimal nutrient and water management practices to grow healthy plants with large amounts of roots and residues, growing cover crops, applying manure with no or low tillage systems help conserve the soil
  • Curtails soil erosion, conserves water, reduces need for excessive irrigation by reducing evapotranspiration and increases productivity of croplands
Philip-Mulvey-ROUNDED Philip Mulvey
Environmental Earth Sciences International
Philip Mulvey Company Logo
14:30 Data integrity, privacy, ownership and security: Ongoing debate on who owns the data collected

  • Who retains ownership of data collected and decides what it can and cannot be used for
  • Risk of crop yield and sensitive data being accessed by competitors
  • Consumers and farmers both must trust the data, so reasons and ways of data collection should be transparent and protected
  • Integrated data sharing platform might be a possibility to help farmers
John-Hodgson-rounded John Hodgson
Senior Complex Systems Architect
Independent Contractor
15:00 Afternoon Refreshment & Networking
15:15 Institutional Challenges in Optimizing Smart Farming Systems for Australia
Paul-Martin-rounded Prof Paul Martin
Director, Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law
University of New England
Paul Martin Logo
15:45 End of Conference Panel Discussion:

  • Managing Future Farm Logistics Using New Technologies and Strategies
Richard-Murdoch-rounded Richard Murdoch
Long Term Grain Grower
Tuckokcowie Station
Richard Murdoch Company Logo
  • Thinking Outside the Box to Boost Agtech Adoption
Fiona-Lake-rounded Fiona Lake
Ag Specialist, Photographer & Writer

Licenced Drone Pilot (ReOC, RePL, AROC, night certified)
Fiona Lake Logo
  • STEM and Digital Technologies in Agricultural Education
    • Agricultural education has to evolve to meet the demands of a rapidly innovating Australian context. Key agricultural education initiatives at Dalby State High School aim to provide a perspective for students to investigate various production challenges and issues. This investigation is achieved through the implementation of GPS animal tracking, field sensors and a LoRa network. The various technologies are used in trial situations across the schools’ 475 hectares of production land including board acre cropping, beef and sheep grazing and horticultural small crops. Students are then able to investigate and challenge understandings and propose solutions to these issues.
Janine-Milne-rounded Janine Milne
Queensland Board Member
Australian Women  in Agriculture
Janine Milne Company logo 2
  • Issues Related to Policy Making for Smart Farms and Research
Katie-McRobert-2-rounded Katie McRobert
General Manager
Australian Farm Institute
Katie McRobert Company Logo
  • Addressing the regulatory uncertainty of new agricultural technologies – How can we build confidence for investment in commercialization and use by producers?
    • Developing a social licence for new technologies
    • Need for an industry code of practice
    • Regulation needs and future certainty
    • How can government keep up with the accelerating rate of change and new technologies
Dr-Rohan-Rainbow-rounded Dr Rohan Rainbow
Ag Tech Centric
Dr Rohan Rainbow Company Logo
17:00 Closing Remarks by Conference Chairman
Tim-Burrow-rounded Tim Burrow
Agribusiness Australia
Tim Burrow Logo