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2018 Winter - Is agriculture ready for autonomy?

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FPJ1502B - Lyons, N & Clark, C (2018), The Future of Autonomous Dairies

FPJ1502B - Lyons, N & Clark, C (2018), The Future of Autonomous Dairies, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 15, no. 2, Winter 2018, pp. 1-5, Surry Hills, Australia.

Dairying is an important contributor to Australian agriculture and a strong source of regional employment. However, it is also a time and resource-intensive industry. Within New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the Dairy Science Group at the University of Sydney, there is a strong vision for a connected, autonomous and smart dairy industry, where everything can be measured, monitored and managed in order to optimise productivity and maximise profitability.
In an ideal high-tech dairy industry, all participants in the supply chain should be able to ensure efficiency in both quantity and quality of milk production. Labour efficiency will be dramatically improved, and technology will be deployed at different levels, such as at animal or plant level, on-farm or at a regional basis.
However, currently farmers have too many options and not much clarity regarding the value of different technologies. There is also still work to be done on the research and development (R&D) side, as well as that related to extension and education services, in order to provide technology solutions fit-for-purpose and to ensure a level of technological competency across industry.



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