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

“What’s in it for us?” Producers urge agtech startups to think about solutions which will drive profitability

Farmers have been, and will continue, to adopt agtech innovation and inventions. Despite calls that primary producers are halting the agtech adoption curve, some experts are saying that it’s not the producer but rather, the sales pitch which could be the problem.

2 min read

Remote water trough monitoring, advanced genetic breeding, automatic feeders, more accurate supplementation; at evokeAG. 2020, Bruce Creek and Michael Wilkes from Thomas Elder Consulting took delegates on a big-picture journey of some of the latest, most innovative technologies out there for livestock producers.

In the Elders Platinum Partner Masterclass, the duo explored how technology will help producers meet the greater demand for red meat production whilst competing with higher land values and increasing variability in climate, which are pressuring our livestock production systems.

“Farmers are very rapid adopters of technology that makes sense and adds value to them,” said Mr Creek.

At the end of day, we need to be accountable to our consumers and trace the story behind our product. This is becoming increasingly important. But, for a lot of tech out there, there is poor value proposition. We are pretty good adopters if there is something in there for us but we need to understand how it’s going to drive production and profitability.”

The rise of genetic technologies and breeding was touted as the technology which livestock producers will see and hear more about in the future.

“Genetic technologies are the buzz word at the moment. The cost is coming down considerably and the results are impressive. Actually measuring true genetic expression of the animal and the association between known production traits so that we can select the best of the best is transforming our industry,” said Mr Creek.

“At the moment, we go out in the paddock, we might think we know the best sire and we make our selection. Imagine if we can know the underlying traits. The best might not be the prettiest or shiniest. We will know their genetic details and have an insight into what’s happening under the hide,” he added.

Mr Wilkes insisted that the technologies which come to market need to both collect data, and analyse it for the producer so that management decisions can be made.

“You cannot manage what you don’t know and what you aren’t measuring. It’s as simple as that,” said Mr Wilkes.

When delegates were asked to raise their hands if they thought precision livestock technologies were being well-adopted across the industry, Mr Wilkes and Mr Creek were met with a idle audience.

“The technology out there for livestock still has a way to go. There are a lot more challenges including the fact that we are dealing with animals. The tech is exposed, affected by climate and often meets animals on four legs.

“Irrespective of what and how we are measuring – the ease with how the technology is used is highly critical. We need to make sure that data is integrated. Mainly to increase the ease of record keeping and merging multiple pieces of data to calculate performance metrics.

“Producers are after better support to interpret the info that we are gathering. Whether that’s external support with the supplier or an aligned independent consultant. Not just sales support – real support is what we need,” said Mr Wilkes.

Once startups can identify the clear return on investment, and help the producers use the technology efficiently and effectively, Mr Wilkes and Mr Creek agreed that it’s up to the producers to take the reins.

“Technology is only as good as the management decision you make,” Mr Creek said.

Contribute to our food, farm and future conversations by using our #evokeAG hashtag and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Read more news
Read more news

Read

myFARMSMART helps manage the ‘what if’ scenarios of farm business

Founder of agritech forecasting software, myFARMSMART, Lucy Anderton is empowering farmers to take a calculated approach to business and ‘have more fun’. By using integrated science-based algorithms with individual farm data, this predictive tool is helping WA farmers better manage change and increase profitability – and is now seeking investment to scale operations.

Farm
30 Nov 2021
5 min read

evokeAG. 2022 Startup Program cohort announced

Fifteen of Australia’s most promising agrifood tech innovators have been handpicked to join the evokeAG. Startup Program to help them to build their capacity to attract investment and customers at the upcoming evokeAG. 2022 Sydney event.

Tech
30 Nov 2021
3 min read
field day Western Australia

New WA Hub seeks innovative solutions to drought

Growers will be at the forefront of innovation with the launch of the South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, designed to help manage climate variability and increase productivity on-farm through innovative technologies and grassroots collaboration.

Farm
29 Nov 2021
5 min read

Listen

40 years in the venture capital game with Andy Ziolkowski

With more than 40 years in the venture capital game, Andy Ziolkowski – the Managing Director of US-based food and agriculture-focused venture capital firm, Cultivian Sandbox and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures – knows a good investment when he sees one.

Investment
20 Oct 2021
18 min listen

Farmer-founder trials pay off in the paddock

This week we take a close look at a fruitful partnership between farmer and agritech founder. Our regular evokeAG. contributor Judy Kennedy speaks with Dan Winson, Founder and CEO of Zetifi a wireless networking startup and Andrew Dumaresq, a broadacre cropping farmer, both based at Wagga Wagga, NSW. It’s a partnership that's evolved and provided a win-win situation for both Dan and Andrew.

Tech
5 Aug 2021
32 min listen

Making sense of blockchain and its value for farmers

This week, we speak to Emma Weston, CEO and Co-Founder of AgriDigital about blockchain technology, how it’s evolved and used across agricultural industries today, specifically grains, and how it’s empowering farmers to access value beyond the farm gate.

Tech
5 Aug 2021
19 min listen

Ardrossan Orchards and using the Phytec App

Two years ago, Batlow, NSW was devastated by one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons on record. Our evokeAG. host and fellow farmer, Stephen Honner caught up with Ian Cathels, Manager of Ardrossan Orchards, at their Woodburn orchard, in the middle of their fruit picking season – to see firsthand their progress and how new technology is driving on-farm efficiencies.

Farm
30 Jun 2021
22 min listen