How Can Agtech Help Carbon Farmers?

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In an ever-changing landscape, agtech helps carbon farmers sift through the data to make informed and targeted decisions.


Agricultural technology (or agtech) is a sector of the farming industry that is growing rapidly. AusAgritech, the leading voice of agtech in Australia, defined agtech as “the application of technology in agricultural production, food and the food supply chain.”


AusAgritech’s Australian Agri-Food Tech Map is a definitive look at the Australian Agtech ecosystem. The map encompasses the diversity and complexity of the dynamic agtech landscape in Australia, as well as the interwoven connection and potential for collaboration between organisations of all sizes. 


Check out the map here!


But with more companies launching new tools and solutions, it’s tough to know what agtech can help landholders undertaking carbon farming projects and where the different solutions fit at the various stages of projects.


We have taken a deep dive into the map to understand where innovation in agtech is creating new options for carbon farmers. We’ll explain what different products are doing for carbon farmers and at what stage you might think about applying technology to make carbon farming easier.


Agtech is helping farmers plan for environmental planting

Many new products have been designed to help landowners understand the project feasibility of environmental planting on their land. Platforms usually combine data collected via satellites and locally-sourced information to help plan new projects.


Along with exploring the potential for carbon projects, some tools explore other ecosystem services, such as biodiversity. New platforms like LOOC-B, developed by the CSIRO, can show landowners the biodiversity record of land over previous decades and model the potential biodiversity change into the future using indicators such as habitat condition, biodiversity persistence, connectivity of ecosystems, and threatened species.


Agtech is booming for building soil carbon

In the past, building soil carbon has been a tricky and costly exercise. But technology in this area is constantly improving, and landowners have never had more choice or support when starting new soil carbon projects.


When deciding on project feasibility for a new project, many landowners use the LOOC-C platform provided by the CSIRO. This is a free tool for farmers to zoom in on their land, answer a few questions, and assess different options for soil carbon projects.


Agtech can also simplify the project management of soil carbon projects. Precision Agriculture is a leading tech company in Australia, utilising data and analytics to implement the precision management plan required to improve soil carbon. Their independent, scientific and valuable soil testing service supports farmers to meet their goals when it comes to their soil carbon project.


Furthermore, companies like Precision Pastures provide a range of online tools to manage soil carbon projects, along with hands-on service for farmers who require added support on-ground. Other platforms like Cecil Earth allow farmers to manage their own projects end-to-end and provide useful dashboards and analytics for reporting on progress to stakeholders.


Soil carbon measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) has seen a boom in investment in recent years, with many solutions combining remotely-sensed satellite data, locally-sourced data from individual farms, and features like artificial intelligence (AI). 


Providers like Hone Ag have developed their own network of hardware and soil testing facilities utilising the latest developments in spectroscopy and machine learning, helping farmers to rapidly and confidently test and report on their soil carbon via their Hone Carbon branch.


Other companies offer additional analysis for farmers on top of a layer of software. FarmLab has a wealth of knowledge on soil carbon projects and can supplement their remotely-sensed insights and AI modelling with experienced human brains that will work 1:1 with farmers to optimise their soil carbon projects.


Agtech software is bullish on livestock management

Data and insights are big business for graziers, which has led to many new tools built for the industry that are helpful for farmers experimenting with new grazing management practices to build carbon.


Livestock management systems like AgriWebb and MaiaGrazing use remotely-sensed satellite data and locally-sourced insight from users to calculate metrics like carrying capacity and stocking rates. This data can be compelling when used alongside other insights, such as rainfall and grazing patterns, and helps users make decisions that optimise for carbon and business outcomes.


Investment into virtual fencing is also helping farmers transition to improved livestock management for carbon projects. Companies like Halter, eSheppard, and Vence provide collars and tags that monitor the movement of livestock and emit radio frequency signals that confine within easily configurable virtual “fences”. These innovations make it easier for farmers to adopt new grazing management systems and spend less time changing the location of fenceposts!


Smart irrigation management tech is flowing

As an ACCU Scheme-approved activity for building soil carbon, irrigation management has also seen its fair share of recent tech innovation. 


Companies like AgBot and FarmBot build smart sensors to give farmers instant insight into water in-flows and outflows across an entire farm. Hardware like this is becoming cheaper and more widely adopted, and when combined with ever-improving software, is becoming a powerful tool in the agtech stack for landowners.


Analytics platforms also combine smart sensors with entire irrigation systems, allowing irrigators to maximise the use of every drop of water for their cropping and carbon-building objectives. Providers like GoannaAg and SWAN Systems have moved from providing specialty agtech for industries like cotton to building larger applications relevant to many production systems.


Drones are flying in front for plantation agtech

Managers of plantation carbon projects are experimenting more with the potential of drones to add value to projects. 


High-performance and increasingly cost-effective drone hardware coupled with software and AI that provides real-time analysis creates drones that are helping project managers with everything from seeding, soil testing, canopy scanning, and reporting on indicators like biodiversity. 


Agtech companies like AirSeed have moved beyond the testing stages and are actively working with project developers to implement their technology. While this is an early stage for this tech style, expect to see more products coming to market very soon.


Mapping their way to success

Platforms like Ecoda and Mergin Maps are the central hub where project developers store data captured by drones, datasets like vegetation health indicators, geodata from maps and in-field observations, and more. The CFF utilise Mergin Maps to develop project maps remotely and then ground-truth them with the client in the field.


Along the same line, Cibolab has extensive mapping and remote sensing capabilities, with their fingers on the livestock management pulse, assisting with pasture and feedbase monitoring, livestock tracking and more.


The agtech stack that brings together all the right data

The sheer amount of data that is needed throughout a carbon project can be overwhelming for landowners. That’s why agtech platforms built to take in a wide variety of information and create useful insight for farmers are becoming more popular. 


Creating a single source of information for landowners is part of the service offering of many hands-on partners. Companies like Precision Pastures are integrating GPS and satellite imagery into data collected from individual farms to map paddock boundaries and overlay the suitable soil and vegetation zones that matter to each project.


Pairtree is another data-pooling tool, collating data acquired from independent companies (including FarmLab, Cibolab, Maiagrazing, and more) so you can reduce the double handling of data and make strategic and informed decisions based on stacked data from the independent sources you already subscribe to. As Pairtree say “finally, you can compare apples with oranges!” Learn more about Pairtree’s recent joint initiative with MLA here.


What are the barriers to adopting more agtech?

Making the process of planning and delivering a carbon project more simple can save time and money for landowners and project developers. There is more choice and support on the market today than ever before, as well as an awareness that finding the right solutions and partners is a journey that takes time. 


Agtech is a sub-sector that is heavily based upon a start-up business approach, however, this often won’t gel well with farming businesses that don’t have the luxury of a/b testing, with a years (or more) crop at stake.


So, just like any purchase you make for your farm, agtech is an investment that needs to be wisely integrated into your farm business plan. Farmbot Founder, Andrew Coppin, recently sat down with Evoke Ag to share his insights into why farmers should first develop an agtech strategy, before diving into agtech purchases that may ultimately not suit their business plan. We highly recommend checking it out here!


Ready to find out more?

Explore our range of educational resources in our Carbon Farming Education Hub where we frequently publish educational articles, webinars, and guidebooks. 


When you’re ready to explore the feasibility of undertaking a carbon project on your property, email us at or give us a bell at (08) 6835 1140 to be connected with one of our project facilitators.

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