Bringing together research and industry specialists in Western Australia, and beyond, to clarify what new technologies can bring to agriculture in the short, medium and long-term.
Digital technology is transforming our lives, professionally and personally. Agriculture has been a latecomer to this change but is catching up fast through significant investment into new technologies such as sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), drones, robotics, analytics and much more. But technical disruptions are by definition difficult to predict.
All too often, people focus on the technology and overlook the fact that real progress occurs not in the technology itself but in its use to increase the efficiency or value of agricultural production. While in the short or medium-term digital agriculture offers gains in efficiency or value, in the long run, the ‘big picture’ gains are contained in the knowledge content of agriculture, through smart technologies, eco-efficient value chains and market-responsive systems.
About the Centre for Digital Agriculture
The Centre for Digital Agriculture (CDA) will bring together researchers and industry specialists within Western Australia and beyond to clarify what new technologies offer agriculture in the short, medium and long term.
Through a series of focused workshops, collaborators will identify specific project opportunities.
The objectives of the CDA include:
- Through networking meetings, identify opportunities, capabilities, threats to WA agribusiness from digital agriculture
- Within focused workshops, develop a detailed functional view of opportunities for specific aspects of digital agriculture
- Publish the findings in working papers and journal publications.
Who are we?
Professor Simon Cook – Centre for Digital Agriculture Director
Simon is our Centre Director and holds a joint State Premier’s Fellowship in Agriculture and Food appointment across both Curtin and Murdoch Universities, based in Western Australia.
Simon is an expert in applying data science and technologies to agricultural systems and natural resource management. An internationally accomplished scientist, Simon is the newly appointed, inaugural Premier’s Fellow in Agriculture and Food at Curtin University. Simon also leads the Food Agility CRC research program into Sustainable Food Systems.
Simon has over 25 years’ experience of research management in agriculture, including many years with CSIRO and within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research Centres. He has a wealth of knowledge in applying information technologies to the management of natural resources. As the leader of the CSIRO precision agricultural research group, he identified the opportunities and obstacles of applying information technologies to change in Australian agriculture. This group pioneered precision agriculture within Australian grains, wine and sugar industries and, with partners, produced the first yield maps for these crops.
Dr Fiona Evans
Fiona is the WA State Premier’s Mid-Career Fellow in Big Data and is based at Curtin University and Murdoch University, Western Australia.
Fiona has extensive and specialised mathematical and statistical knowledge and skills, with two decades of experience in applying statistics and machine learning to solving problems using large, spatial datasets. She has a professional, intellectual and personal commitment to research that enhances the assessment, monitoring and productivity of Australia’s environmental and agricultural resources.
Her current fellowship project ‘Transforming broadacre farming in WA by combining big data, agronomic and economic models’ aims to develop and apply advanced analytics to combine big data with field trial data, on-farm experiments, biophysical and agro-economic models to better predict the effects of crop inputs on yield and net return.
Dr Myrtille Lacoste
[Currently on Maternity Leave]
Myrtille is a Research Fellow in Agricultural Systems at Curtin University, Western Australia.
As part of the Centre for Digital Agriculture team, she combines the insights of varied disciplines to capture farmers’ practices and understand their management decisions. Using concepts and tools from system sciences, agronomy, geography and socio-economics, Myrtille investigates how production practices and farming strategies vary and the reasons why diversity endures. For instance, how farmers adopt digital technologies, use the information and allocate farm resources, what obstacles they face and what opportunities exist, and how this knowledge of farming situations can inform project design, bridge disciplinary areas, and better connect research and industry – locally, and internationally.
She has been working on projects for the broadacre wheat belt of Western Australia since 2011. Before this, Myrtille worked with research programs on smallholder subsistence farming in East Timor, Indonesia and Honduras.