A SECTOR-wide collaboration from all 15 rural research development corporations is aiming at the latent opportunities for all primary industries in digital decision making tools.
The Precision to Decision project, known as P2D, was undertaken throughout 2017 and has just handed down its final report.
It was the first ever universal joint effort from the RDCs and the results offer tantalising potential.
P2D found that switching from analogue to digital production models could boost the ag sector’s production value by $20.3 billion, or 25 per cent on average across all industries.
The project was led by the Cotton Research Development Corporation and supported by the Australian Farm Institute think tank.
The findings are focused on two themes: identifying the scale and location of opportunities in individual industries and mapping the path for industry and government reform to realise burgeoning digital opportunities.
Australian Farm Institute general manager research Richard Heath guided the investigation.
He said a “big picture fix” was required, including a new Digital Agriculture Taskforce Australia and collaborative efforts to secure data speeds and volumes and open access to game-changing datasets.
“A lack of producer control, on-farm connectivity and the under-utilisation of data has put us at a global disadvantage,” Mr Heath said.
“We’ve now got a pathway to transform Australian farm business management and decision making through effective digital agriculture adoption. We just need to act,” Mr Heath said.
A CSIRO study funded by the P2D project identified the key gaps created by poor on-farm connectivity, such as limited use of farm analytical software.
While 89pc of respondents collect at least one type of farm data, only 19pc said they used specialist farm software to manage it.