P2D Project: Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture

The Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture (P2D) research program involved a series of discrete projects, supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural Research and Development for Profit program.

The projects addressed: how much would digital technology transform agriculture; the likely benefits and disadvantages these technologies would bring; and the issues the agricultural sector would need to address in order to effectively implement a digital strategy.

> Click here to access the research papers 

The P2D program involved all 15 rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) and focused on three primary aims:

  • Facilitating the development of digital technology in Australian agriculture.
  • Fostering the establishment of appropriate legal frameworks, data systems and access to critical datasets.
  • Identifying the data communications systems required to deliver the benefits of digital agriculture to the Australia farm and agribusiness sectors.

The findings clearly indicated that a cohesive, whole-of-industry collaboration was needed for digital agriculture development. Many of the issues impeding digital maturity are common across sectors.

The P2D papers represent an important first step in an extended, broad-ranging process of adoption and adaptation which will require the kind of cooperative effort demonstrated across the RDCs and industry bodies in producing this research.


AFI Research Report – Analysis of the economic benefit and strategies for delivery of digital agriculture in Australia

This report estimates that the unconstrained implementation of decision agriculture would result in a lift in the gross value of agricultural (including forestry and fisheries) production of $20.3 Billion (a 25% increase on 2014–15 levels) and would have major flow-on effects to other parts of the economy. This research will help guide ongoing investments by government and RDCs in areas that reduce current barriers to decision agriculture. It will also assist with targeting investments in areas in which there is a strong business case or high-impact productivity and profitability benefits for decision agriculture.

Perrett, E., Heath, R., Laurie, A. and Darragh, L. (2017), Accelerating precision agriculture to decision agriculture – analysis of the economic benefit and strategies for delivery of digital agriculture in Australia, Australian Farm Institute and Cotton Research and Development Corporation. Download report

Australian Farm Institute, and Cotton Research and Development Corporation. Email report questions and feedback to Richard Heath.

Media Releases

Report recommends Australian agriculture go digital (14 December 2017)

Digital agriculture could unlock production gains of $20.3 billion (24 November 2017)

Securing the future through digital agriculture (21 November 2017)

A wake-up call for on farm telecommunications (6 October 2017)

Barriers to digital agriculture impacting on profit (29 September 2017)

A blueprint for decision-making that delivers profit (19 June 2017) 

Cutting through the telco jargon to drive profit through 'big data' (3 May 2017)

Lessons learnt from big data use in America could cut costs for Australian farmers (27 February 2017)

New laws should give Australian farmers more control over data (6 February 2017)

Growers establish their 'Big Data' requirements (29 November 2016)

The P2D Project featured in two issues of the Farm Institute Insights newsletter, Accelerating precision agriculture to decision agriculture (August 2016) and Big data cooperatives in the United States (November 2016).


Project supporters:
Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Meat and Livestock Australia
Dairy Australia
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Sugar Research Australia
Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
Australian Wool Innovation
Horticulture Innovation Australia
Australian Pork Limited
Australian Grape & Wine Authority
Forestry and Wood Products Australia
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
Australian Meat Processing Corporation
Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited
Australian Egg Corporation Limited

Research providers:

Data to Decisions CRC
University of New England
Australian Farm Institute
Griffith University
University of the Sunshine Coast
CSIRO