CSIRO builds analytics platform to help Aussie farmers

The Rural Intelligence Platform uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud-based geospatial technology to give farmers the heads up on how their property is changing and is expected to change in the future.

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Image: Supplied

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has partnered with rural technology startup Digital Agriculture Services (DAS) to build an analytics platform it hopes will "future-proof" farms in Australia.

The Rural Intelligence Platform combines artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud-based geospatial technology, which CSIRO said will deliver reliable farm data and analytics.

According to CSIRO, the platform is the first to comprehensively assess and monitor rural land anywhere in Australia. It uses information from data sources on the likes of productivity, water access, yield, land use, crop type, rainfall, and drought impact.

It uses satellite imagery to track paddocks and their performance over time; information from Australia's digital soil map is also incorporated, with climate information interpreted to show drought, frost, heat stress for livestock, and other risks, CSIRO explained.

"The platform brings together in one place and refines a range of technologies developed by CSIRO in order to provide a picture of what has happened on a property over the years as well as the current situation," CSIRO Agriculture and Food Deputy Director Dr Michael Robertson said in a statement.

"The Rural Intelligence Platform will help the agribusiness community calculate the risks associated with certain investments or management decisions.

"This is a whole new model for rural analytics which will make it easier to quantify risk and prepare for challenges like climate volatility and change."

CSIRO said the platform incorporates an AI-initiated Automated Valuation Model that is capable of valuing rural properties instantly with up to 90 percent accuracy. Previously, this was only possible for residential properties.

DAS, which was established in partnership with CSIRO in 2017, is working with a number of companies to pilot the Rural Intelligence Platform.

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