Australian farmers will gain access to easy-to-use on-farm sensory information that will help them make the best agronomic decisions, says Syngenta Australia.
With the support of a AUS $ 170,000 (US $ 127,000) funding from the Australian government, Syngenta and agtech company Pairtree will co-fund the completion of three commercial proof-of-concept trials to develop a data integration service.
According to CEO Hamish Munro of Pairtree, farmers that have agtech weather stations should have the ability to connect to leading edge tools for crop health, pests and diseases. The service can provide growers and agronomists the connectivity and visibility on-farm needed to make smart decisions based on the most up-to-date and relevant data.
The collaboration between Pairtree and Syngenta means that farmers’ own weather data, combined with advanced weather forecasts and satellite imagery, will be used to maximise productivity by increasing the accuracy of advanced crop health tools developed by Syngenta.
“Together with Syngenta Australia, our work will allow farmers with any brand agtech weather station to eventually gain paddock level insights of crop productivity options”, Mr Munro says. “This kind of ‘digital agnostic’ solution to a bigger picture problem is exactly what Pairtree is focused on.”
Mr Munro says the project is the start of something big. “This project increases the accuracy of pest and disease modelling by enabling much more localised and accurate weather data from individual farms’ weather stations to inform the calculations that go into timely control application recommendations.”
He points out that many farmers already have agtech like digital weather stations. “Our service is ‘agnostic’ in that we don’t mind which brand of weather station is used – we can integrate the data if the farmers give us permission to do so.”
A key focus for Pairtree is overcoming ‘data silos’ and the issue of interoperability where different digital services and devices can’t speak to each other. The team enables farmers to opt-in to sharing sensor and app data to third parties. That can offer significant benefits to the farmer.
Paul Luxton, Syngenta’s Managing Director, emphasises the on-farm insights delivered in a user-friendly way is game changing. “This project will help farmers and agronomists deliver maximum productivity within the crops, by sustainably reducing weed, disease and pest pressures. It is the future of farming.”
The partnership project with Pairtree is part of Syngenta’s strategy to support the industry’s digital future and add value to agriculture in Australia and New Zealand. Syngenta has been engaging with agtech startups and supporting local innovation to develop bespoke solutions whilst leveraging Syngenta’s toolbox of global technology and knowledge.
“This partnership is a clear signal to the industry of Syngenta’s intent to support technology driven solutions on-farm that help growers deliver sustainable productivity”, Mr Luxton says.