A project to connect students with data streaming from the paddocks of high-tech university farms from across Australia and the world is the latest tool being used to teach the emerging field of digital agriculture, reports Lisa Herbert on ABC.Net.au.
Farms such as the University of New England’s SMARTfarm house a wireless sensor network for monitoring soil and pasture conditions, livestock movement and weather conditions.
Dr. Mark Trotter, a senior lecturer in precision agriculture at UNE, said the increasing need for improvements in on-farm efficiencies increased the need for smart students, and he was hoping the new two-year project would help do that.
Called the SMARTfarm Learning Hub, Trotter said the information-sharing offered a great learning environment for students.
“It’s about connecting up a whole range of university farms with some of the leading precision agriculture technology companies and their data interfaces, and developing learning modules to enable students from across the world to have access to real data, real commercial software packages on real working farms, and to enable them to learn a whole range of skills through that,” he said.