THE CSIRO are set to receive nearly $300,000 to develop virtual a fence system for sheep operations.
Virtual fences are boundaries drawn digitally, using global positioning satellites (GPS).
The technology was first developed by the CSIRO more than a decade ago, however the cost component is now becoming commercially viable.
The investment falls under the Federal Government’s $50 million investment over four years in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the funding would accelerate the CSIRO’s development of a “virtual fence” system for weed control using sheep.
“Grazing management is a proven tool for reducing the impact of common weeds on agricultural production and ecosystems. However it only works if farmers can target the right area in a paddock at the right time,” Mr Joyce said.
Federal Member Mark Coulton said pest animals and weeds cost farmers about $4 billion annually through control tools and lost production.
“We want our farmers and land managers to be ahead of the game,” Mr Coulton said.
“Improving and finding new ways to manage pest animals and weeds and ensuring people can access those tools as soon as possible is critical to driving greater returns through the farmgate.”