Graincast to head overseas

Digital Agricultural Services gets exclusive global rights to CSIRO grain prediction technology

Machinery
GOING GLOBAL: The CSIRO has granted Digital Agriculture Services exclusive global rights to its Graincast crop forecasting technology. Photo: CSIRO

GOING GLOBAL: The CSIRO has granted Digital Agriculture Services exclusive global rights to its Graincast crop forecasting technology. Photo: CSIRO

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Digital Agricultural Services has been given exclusive global rights to CSIRO grain yield forecasting technology

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In a move set to raise questions about how farm derived data is used, the CSIRO recently gave Melbourne technology company Digital Agriculture Services exclusive global licencing to its crop forecasting tool Graincast.

Graincast utilises crop models, built from grower data, to create crop maps and yield predictions at a paddock, farm or even regional level, along with machine learning algorithms which allow crop type to be differentiated from satellite data.

CSIRO group leader Dr Roger Lawes said the agricultural sector had never had access to this level of information before.

Read more: NFF set ground rules for farm data use

"Effectively this technology operates like an early warning tool, at a time when a variable climate may impact hectares planted and yields," he said.

DAS chief executive officer Anthony Willmott said the three-year-old startup is catering to the growing appetite for artificial intelligence powered rural, agricultural and climate risk intelligence, that puts 'science in the hands of decision makers'.

In previous statements, Mr Willmott has used the example of valuers, bankers, accountants and insurance companies as some of the key market areas for its products.

"We are rolling out technology that can identify and predict crops, while automatically connecting everything back to the farm - property boundaries, sales data, soil types, monitoring and yield predictions along with risk insights on fire, flood, drought stress, productivity and climate into one compelling picture," he said.

Mr Willmott said the CSIRO was a founding equity partner in the creation of DAS, with the two entities working in tandem to apply machine learning and AI to agriculture.

"The DAS-CSIRO model is all about fostering very different thinking, for a very different future," he said.

"We are bringing together deep digital, domain knowledge and multi-disciplinary expertise into a globally scalable delivery organisation that can have a profound and positive impact on agriculture."

Mr Willmott said DAS is exploring a number of commercialisation opportunities in relation to the Graincast technology.

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