The most popular Breakout Sessions at evokeAG. 2020 - evokeAG.

Use of cookies

The evokeAG. website uses cookies to enhance your experience and optimise site functionality.

Please refer to our Cookie Policy for more information on which cookies we use and how we collect and use your personal information through cookies

Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

The most popular Breakout Sessions at evokeAG. 2020

The most popular Breakout Sessions at evokeAG. 2020

Two months on from evokeAG. the dust has settled, and the wheels are churning on the future program. This is an ideal time to reflect on the success of the two-day agrifood tech triumph. We have crunched the numbers from the sell-out event and found our three breakout sessions that drew the biggest crowds.

It’s no surprise that technology, data and on-farm adoption were key themes throughout the two day event. The top three breakouts all discussed similar topics, it was clear delegates wanted to know not ‘what’ technology to use but ‘how’ to decide when to invest in these innovative technologies, how to tackle the adoption barrier, how to use the data captured to make more informed decisions to improve productivity and how to work smarter not harder.

1. Increasing the outputs, with less inputs: Better decisions using technology

Day one at evokeAG. saw delegates flocking to the ‘Increasing the outputs, with less inputs’ session which was powered by Platinum Partner Elders. The panel shared insights into how data collected on-farm can be used to make educated decisions to minimise losses, improve productivity, increase yields, and how to make appropriate use of the valuable data to improve the whole farm decision making process.

The diverse panel of thought leaders included Research Scientist and Primary Producer Dr Kelly Pearce, Dairy Genetics and Genomics Specialist Dr Jennie Pryce, Aidan Connolly of Irish AI company Cainthus and facilitated by precision agriculture expert Darren Hughes of Laconik. The panel of leading industry experts also dived into cutting through the agtech hype to find products that will drive revenue for farmers.

Dr Pearce said farmers learn best from other farmers who have tried and tested these emerging technologies. The Western Australian grain and sheep producer noted there needs to be healthier systems in place where startups can ground truth and test bed their technologies in a more professional level. This ensures a better-demonstrated return on investment, resulting in rapid commercialisation, adoption, uptake and collaboration among multiple players along the ecosystem.

Genomics expert, Dr Pryce discussed the need for a greater need of capacity in the agricultural field; there’s a need for agricultural experts with also a high knowledge of programming. Dr Pryce said once we train the right people in this space, we will find gold, and is an exciting opportunity for people with those cross-sectoral skills to enter the agricultural space.

2. A farmers new best friend: AI and remote sensing technology that is taking the legwork out of farming

How does technology make a farmers life easier? This topic drew a big crowd on day one at evokeAG. with delegates keen to hear from leading industry experts on the AI and remote sensing technology they’re using on-farm and what challenges they pose.

Virtual fencing startup founder, Ian Reilly of Agersens said the expectation from farmers is that in the next fifty years virtual fencing and remote sensors will be commonplace on farms, a necessity to maximise productivity. But first, the challenge of adoption needs to be tackled.

Viticulturist, Andy Clarke of GAIA Innovations noted barriers are only put in place against adoption, if the consumer doesn’t understand the technology. Getting consumers to understand the benefits the technology can provide is only the first step, consumers need to understand how to approach the technology and how to put it into practice but Mr Clarke stated that the generational change that is currently evolving will aid in adopting emerging technologies.

When facilitator Tom Raynor of Myriota posed the question of how Australia is perceived as an agtech country overseas? The panel agreed that Australia is seen at being at the forefront of agriculture and therefore has an opportunity to market agtech well overseas.
Darryn Keiller, CEO of Autogrow sees an opportunity for entrepreneurs to transfer the deeply held research and intellectual property currently being held in Universities, into the market and onto farms. Mr Clark agreed and said commercialisation is one of the biggest missing steps in getting new technologies into the market. The solution? We need to be more innovative in our approach.

3. Producer led innovation: The stories of farmer using innovation every day

Coming in at the third most popular breakout of evokeAG. 2020, was the ‘Producer led innovation’ session powered by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries Research and Development. A reoccurring statement through various breakout sessions was that farmers learn and adopt technology that other farmers are using, so this session was a great way for delegates to hear stories from a panellist of producers. The producer driven panel was facilitated by food systems innovation expert Sarah Nolet of AgThentic and was formed of Brad Jones of Bungulla Farms, Sue Middleton of Agdots and Mark Mortimer of Centre Plus, all of which are at the forefront of farming innovation using agtech in various forms on their farming enterprises. The panel discussed the challenges and opportunities that agtech has provided and how it has become a vital part of their business.

The topic of agtech adoption was certainly a hot one, the session touched on the producers’ perspective of how to decide if they should use a product on farm. Mr Jones noted the obstacle associated with adoption is confidence. Farmers need to have confidence in what they’re trying to achieve and for startups it’s offering support in various forms, both face-to-face and remote, to those farmers.

For Mr Mortimer, the answer was core business; it’s easy to sell him technology that will make his job easier. The technology has to be helping to eliminate labour, and not creating a farmer more work. The magic moment is when the data captured by a product is a bi-product of farm management.

Sue Middleton said the biggest selling point for her when adopting new technologies is hearing first hand from other farmers what they’re using, what worked and what hasn’t. Ms Middleton encouraged farmers to be proactive and welcoming those new conversations with startups about their technology, and not be passive when it comes to agtech.


Enjoyed this story? Want to learn more about the Asia Pacific region’s innovative agrifood tech ecosystem? Sign up for our newsletter here and receive fresh stories about global leaders, farmers, startups and innovators driving collaborative change.

Read more news
Read more news

Read

Nick Stamatiou and Cedric Cross

Whole Green Foods’ $2m bridging round geared to tackle global food waste

Specialising in nutrient extraction technology to convert food waste into useable ingredients, has paid off for Whole Green Foods. The Western Australian startup is now raising a $2 million bridging round, closing 31 August 2022, with processing expansion plans and heavyweight partnerships on the horizon, such as Simplot and Ferrero – set to catapult success.

Tech
2 Aug 2022
5 min read
grain growers silos

South Australian paddock-to-beverage traceability project takes off

Nine innovative agritech startups have received over $700,000 in grants collectively through the South Australian Government’s AgTech Growth Fund. Now a collaborative paddock-to-beverage traceability pilot project between Coopers Brewery, Grain Producers South Australia and agritech startup recipient, Trust Provenance is taking off.

Food
1 Aug 2022
4 min read
Phil Livingston, Agbot

Ultra-low-cost smart meter ready for farmers and agricultural partners

Australian technology startup, Gasbot has ignited the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry, with an ultra-low-cost smart meter that’s giving near real-time visibility of tank storage levels to blue-chip utilities across the globe. Now, Gasbot is seeking partners to inform its development roadmap for the agriculture sector – and put its weather-proof and hack-resistant Agbot to work for every farmer.

Farm
28 Jul 2022
6 min read

Icon of Australian agribusiness – Elders – renews platinum partnership for AgriFutures evokeAG. 2023 event

Australian agribusiness icon, Elders, has renewed its commitment to Australian agrifood innovation, returning as the official Platinum Partner of AgriFutures evokeAG. 2023 event on 21-22 February 2023 in Adelaide, South Australia. evokeAG. is the Asia Pacific’s premier agrifood tech event aiming to bring together farmers, innovators, researchers, universities, corporates, government and investors to drive impact for farmers and the supply-chain.

Future
18 Jul 2022
3 min read
Sivam Krish GoMicro CEO

Simple GoMicro device measures highly accurate food spoilage

AI-assessment platform, GoMicro is charging ahead with early detection technology to tackle global food waste. At the 400M Agrifood Innovation Forum in Toowomba, GoMicro CEO and Founder Dr Sivam Krish presented breakthrough results in assessing the ripeness or spoilage of fruits and vegetables with an 86-to-99% accuracy, measured in days.

Tech
13 Jul 2022
2 min read

Listen

The secret life of bees and tracking real-time pollination

Pollinated agriculture is estimated to be a $14 billion industry in Australia alone. Now an innovative technology, Bee Innovative can track how well bees are pollinating a crop and provide growers with real-time information to help boost yield and profits. Here commercial beekeeper and CEO and Co-Founder of Bee Innovative, David Lyall talks about its growing potential.

Tech
4 Aug 2022
31 min

The making of great Australian wine

Wine Australia is charging ahead with innovations to ensure Australia’s viticulture industry continues to thrive, off the back of a challenging period. CEO Dr Martin Cole delves deep into their R&D approach, exciting solutions, like zero alcohol products and how growAG. is helping to enable growth.

Research
7 Jul 2022
22 min listen

Observing the Earth together, set to benefit agriculture

Earth observation scientist and UK GRIP program leader, Hugh Mortimer talks about the possibilities of space exploration and why global collaboration and co-investment, between the UK and Australia is so important for the prosperity of agriculture and climate change mitigation.

Future
7 Jul 2022
50 min listen