‘AgTech’ has become a catchcry of modern agriculture and a growth portfolio for the ADAMA business.
General Manager for Marketing, Adam Phelan, said agtech services were part of the company’s core business and portfolio strategy, designed to provide simpler solutions for growers and agronomists.
“Digital solutions will play a significant role in the future. We will continue to work closely with our technology partners locally and globally to bring new digital tools to our distribution partners that will help deliver specific solutions to growers – solutions that will aid improved production, profitability and sustainability,’’ Adam said.
“Combining powerful digital tools with the correct chemistry will also help make the job easier for growers.’’
Some of the latest tools will arrive soon, with the expected registration of Brevis, a new and innovative secondary fruit thinner from ADAMA especially formulated for apples.
AgTech tools used with Brevis will help to enhance the accuracy of applications and provide for safer thinning, reduced labour and increased yields.
The new tools will be part of the ADAMA suite of digital solutions.
The ADAMA ReefAware app, developed on the back of the company’s UK WaterAware app for management of pesticides in ground water, is attracting increasing attention.
The new tool helps canegrowers and advisers to maximise herbicide efficacy whilst minimising run-off and its potential impact on the environment.
Suitable for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones, ReefAware assesses the suitability and timing of herbicide applications by taking recent, current and short-term forecast weather conditions into account, along with site soil type and moisture, topography and proximity to water courses.
The app also considers any neighbouring water bodies, as well as label use requirements to determine the suitability of immediate herbicide application (within the next 24 hours), as well as within 72 hours.
“It allows users to map and name cane fields and it provides instant, location-based information and a simple ‘stop’ or ‘go’ application indication,’’ Adam said.
Trapview is an automated pest monitoring system for use in horticultural as well as broadacre crops, to target pests like heliothis.
Using revolutionary technology in a fully integrated system, it works by capturing images and providing digital recognition of pests in any given number of traps. Pest populations and their dynamics can be monitored on desktop and mobile devices in real time, with the system providing analytics and rapid pest alerts. Photographs are captured daily at user-defined times that best fit the crop and target pest and are then archived using a cloud-based system, allowing users to be aware of the pest situation in the field in real time and enabling more strategic application of control options.
ADAMA’s global partnership with SwarmFarm Robotics is also set to open up new opportunities for application of crop protection products.
The partnership will help to improve the productivity of farming systems by offering small, lightweight, low-cost robotic machines that operate in swarms to undertake key tasks such as planting, weed control, insect control, fertiliser application, irrigation and harvesting.
Adam said there was great opportunity for ADAMA to collaborate with optical spray technology companies for selective spraying of weeds.
He said the relationship with SwarmFarm Robotics would enable the company to develop specific use patterns for Australian farming systems using new and existing products.
ADAMA is also testing new sensor technologies around water management, weather monitoring, disease models and frost warnings.
Meanwhile, a ‘FastFind label and Safety Data Sheet’ integrated within the ADAMA Australia website is providing fast and easy access to important information for growers, agronomists, transport providers and emergency personnel.
Using the QR codes on every ADAMA product also provides immediate access to the information online, including product technical guides.
For further information on any of ADAMA’s digital solutions or agtech relationships, visit www.adama.com
(This article appeared originally in the June 2018 issue of Rural Business Magazine)