On-Farm Operation Optimisation

IMAGE: Bindi, ACTFA Chair, and Godard, Verge Ag Operations Manager, discussing opportunities for on farm operation optimisation that will be explored in a new GRDC funded project.

A new generation of farm operation optimisation tools is emerging to empower growers to optimise various input costs such as machinery, labour, and fuel based on their unique farm spatial distribution and terrain characteristics.

ACTFA is looking forward to working with Verge Technologies Australia Pty Ltd, consultants and farmers across Australia, in partnership with GRDC on a project titled On Farm Operations Optimisation. The three-year project, led by Verge Ag, will develop a web-based tool to assist in optimising operational efficiencies in four main areas:

1. Equipment fleet and farm optimisation: Enhance machinery investment planning by designing the right-sized equipment fleet based on paddock shape, terrain, and other spatial attributes.

2. Growing season Pathway Planning: Determine optimal AB lines to maximise machinery efficiency, reduce idle time and fuel consumption, plan pathways to minimise crop damage and soil compaction, and assess the benefits of controlled traffic farming.

3. In-Paddock Operations Logistics Planning: Evaluate optimal refill points or grain bins based on unit capacities of equipment operating in the paddock (grain, fertiliser, and fuel).

4. Analytical Tools for Cost- Benefit Analysis: Empower growers to strike a balance between profitability and sustainability metrics, such as finding the balance between minimising machinery run time and reducing the risk of water erosion or waterlogging.

A key feature of the software is its capability to import farm paddock boundaries, allowing growers and consultants to evaluate various machinery operational scenarios within the specific context of their farms, taking into consideration factors such as paddock size, shape and terrain. This includes assessing potential efficiency enhancements, such as, for example, implementing section control on a sprayer or expanding a seeding bar from 12.2 meters to 18 meters.

Furthermore, the project aims to offer a variety of extension activities regarding innovative approaches to enhance operational efficiencies and increase farm business profitability through data-driven insights.

Keep an eye out for extension activities starting in 2024. In the meantime, check out the tool https://vergeag.com/ For more information contact Bindi at bindi@agrarian.com.au or Godard, Verge Ag project supervisor at godard@vergeag.com.


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