The Victorian Government has initiated a global search for “cutting-edge” Internet of Things (IoT) agtech.
The move is designed to support on-farm IoT trials which will run in key agricultural areas, covering Victoria's major agriculture sectors of dairy, broad-acre cropping, meat production and horticulture.
According to the government, the goal of the trials is to investigate issues from the network level all the way through to end-user devices and machinery on-farm.
As a result, the state government is now accepting tenders to build IoT networks that will enable farmers to participate in the trial.
Initially this will happen around the four trial regions – around Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip – to provide the connectivity needed to enable the use of on-farm IoT solutions, which is part of the The Connecting Regional Communities program, which received a $12 million fund in February for the trials.
In March, the state government announced a further $15 million investment to enhance agricultural technology on farms, bringing total investment to $27 million - the trials were initially expected to begin on 1 July 2018.
“Agtech, including IoT, has the capacity to change the agricultural landscape for decades to come – so we’re doing the research on the ground to ensure it can deliver the results it promises for Victorians,” Minister for agriculture Jaala Pulford said.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for farmers and agtech providers to get down to the nitty-gritty of what works and what doesn’t, breaking down barriers such as a lack of connectivity, skills and capital to invest."
Soon, the Victorian Government will start inviting agriculture IoT providers to submit proposals to supply applications and devices for the four farm types included in the trial.
Farmers participating in the trial will be able to select IoT solutions to trial on their farm, with financial support from Agriculture Victoria.