Australian Farmers are Cautious About Agtech Data Harvesting
Agricultural technology (Agtech) is a game-changer for agriculture in Australia. It has the potential to add millions of dollars to the agricultural economy of the country. Major agriculture manufacturers like John Deere recognise this potential and are integrating modern technology into their machinery.
However, even though agtech is integrated into machinery such as tractors, harvesters, and fertilising systems, many farmers are wary of it. There are several reasons why many Australian farmers are sceptical about agtech. These reasons involve both the use of data and the knowledge required to analyse the data provided.
- Agricultural technology (Agtech) is a game-changer for agriculture in Australia. It has the potential to add millions of dollars to the agricultural economy of the country.
- Even though agtech is integrated into machinery such as tractors, harvesters, and fertilising systems, many farmers are wary of it.
- The concerns of famers involve how the data is used and shared and how they can extract useful information from big data.
- Addressing the concerns of farmers is vital if agtech is to meet its full potential.
What is Agtech?
In order to understand the caution of Australian farmers, it helps to understand what agtech is. The term covers innovation involved in the supply chain that can improve things for Australian farm owners, producers, customers, and other agriculture industry stakeholders.
Agtech includes the use of digital technologies, hardware and software, machine learning, and data collection. It’s an essential aspect of the future of agriculture in Australia and across the globe.
Distrust of the use and power of data
One of the main concerns farmers have about the use of data provided by agtech is the protection of privacy and security. They wonder whether data will be de-identified and shared in a way that protects their personal and business security and how and when the data will be shared with others. Agtech features such as drones create another potential problem as some in the agriculture industry believe they can be used to steal privacy and secrets.
In addition to privacy worries, farmers also have concerns about the power of data. They believe that the use of data may create an imbalance between farming businesses and large agtech companies. There are also concerns about what happens to owners of smaller farms who may not have the money to invest in more costly agtech solutions.
The challenge of understanding data
It’s not just issues around privacy that concern farmers when it comes to data from agtech. Farming professionals also face the challenge of understanding how to use the data in the most effective way. If they do not have this understanding, the information can be more of a hindrance than a help. This is due to the amount of data that is available.
Not being aware of how to extract vital elements from this vast amount of data means that farmers can waste time and effort in their big data management attempts. This time and effort are then not available to conduct other vital farm management tasks. The more farmers are challenged in this way, the more they develop a distrust of agtech.
Addressing the agtech caution of Australian farmers
Despite the mistrust that many farmers have for agtech, it still has the potential to revolutionise farming in Australia. However, for this potential to be fully realised, the concerns of farmers must be addressed. They can be overcome by providing comprehensive information about security and privacy, by transparent communication, and by farmers receiving training in dealing with big data.
Agtech is integral to the future of agriculture. So, the work that needs to be done to bring farmers on board is vital if the effects of agtech are to be optimised.