Ag Tech

Pollster’s survey gives insights into farm agtech use

Sheep Central June 19, 2024

Scanning a wool pack’s QR code. Image – AWEX.

ALMOST 90 percent of farmers have or would consider using agtech, with farm management software being the most widely adopted, according to a survey by pollster Roy Morgan.

The survey featured the views of 1001 Australian farmers from across the sector, including cropping, beef, sheep, horticulture and dairy.

The results found that 89 percent of farmers have used, or would consider using, agtech, compared to only 11pc who would not consider using it.

Roy Morgan chief executive officer Michele Levine said the survey showed Australian farmers were among the world’s most tech savvy.

“In fact…72pc are currently using agtech to drive time and cost savings in their businesses, and reaping the benefits offered by the array of new technologies that are increasingly coming on to the market,” Ms Levine said.

“The most widely used agtech is farm-management software, which covers everything from paddock mapping to animal genetics, feed inventory, water monitoring, and biosecurity planning.

“Other prominent agtech includes electronic ID tags, satellite technology, precision farming, drones and remote sensors which provide detailed information to drive innovation and cost efficiencies throughout the farming environment.”

The survey found the top benefits to agtech adoption were:

Reduction in waste;

  • The ability to diagnose issues remotely;
  • Reduced labour;
  • Improved understanding of new opportunities and solutions;
  • More accurate and better record keeping,
  • The ability to closely monitor large areas;
  • Improved livestock management;
  • Increased profitability; and,
  • Reduced input costs.

Ms Levine said high cost was identified as the main barrier to the adoption of agtech for farmers, with 66pc of respondents citing price as a hindrance.

“What is interesting to consider is that although ‘high cost’ is considered a barrier to adoption, cost savings are considered one of the main benefits for farmers who have taken the step and adopted agtech.

“There is surely a way to ‘thread the needle’ here, and find a way to reduce the entry costs to be able to reap the benefits of the technology post-adoption.”

Simply not knowing enough about agtech and the capabilities of these technologies are mentioned by 37pc of farmers who ‘don’t know enough about it’, while 36pc of farmers mentioned ‘poor connectivity’ to the internet and telephone networks as a barrier to adoption.

The survey found 23pc of farmers said they had no need for agtech, while 19pc said they believed there was only a low benefit to adopting it.

“These barriers to adoption appear to be mainly rooted in not understanding how exactly agtech could improve the farming experience for these respondents.

“Businesses at the leading edge of agtech may require a more targeted approach to reaching out to these farmers to find out what challenges they face and how the latest technologies could assist the growth of their business.”

Ms Levine said John Deere, Gallagher and Elders were considered top brands for agtech products and services.

“When asked unprompted about which brands farmers associate most with agricultural technologies our survey of over 1000 farmers mentioned John Deere in first place followed by Gallagher and Elders rounding out the top three.”

Conducted in April and May, the survey included farmers from a range of enterprise sizes from small farms to those over 25,000 hectares, and annual revenue from under $100,000 to over $5 million.

Source: Roy Morgan


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