E-Beef Smart Farm

 

 

– connecting cattle and pastures with technology to inform management decisions.

 

 

Our E-Beef Smart Farm project is a collaboration with our sister organisations, Southern Gulf NRM (the project leader) and Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, along with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.  While its official title is E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland, we simply call it E-Beef.  It is funded by both the Australian and Queensland governments.

E-Beef is a producer-focused project demonstrating how innovative technologies can inform timely management decisions to increase animal production and business profitability.  The improvement in accuracy and timeliness of livestock performance and pasture data is another key outcome for this project.

At the core of the project is the establishment of two E-Beef Smart Farms in each of the three participating NRM group regions: Desert Channels, Southern Gulf and Northern Gulf.  One property per region has already been selected to become an E-Beef Smart Farm in the initial round; there will be a second round at the middle of 2019 where another property per region will be selected (see below).

E-Beef has 3 components:

  • E-Beef Smart Farms (demonstration properties)
  • Participation in E-Beef Innovation Hubs (learning groups)
  • Trialling new technology to support productivity.

By participating in the E-Beef Smart Farm Project, motivated graziers have the opportunity to apply new and innovative technologies to improve their grazing land management, adaptability to seasonal conditions and overall business profitability. Details on the different parts of the project are as follows:

  1. E-Beef Smart Farms (demonstration properties)
    Within the DCQ region, one Smart Farm has been selected – with another round of selection for a second Smart Farm to follow mid year – where the connection between pasture cover and daily livestock weight will be demonstrated.  The project will fund installation of Tru-Test Remote Walk Over Weighing (WOW) technology to record current cattle weights.  Weekly reporting of cattle live weights along with NDVI Mapping, portraying pasture and ground-cover satellite data, will allow graziers to better understand the relationship between pasture levels and cattle weights.  In addition, Agrihive’s ‘Farmecco’ confidential business analysis, using current stock values, will be undertaken by each E-Beef Smart Farm to explore the impact of management decisions on profitability.   At the end of the project, the Smart Farm will become the owner of the WOW.
  2. Smart Farms Innovation Hubs (learning groups)
    Properties surrounding a Smart Farm can apply to become members of an Innovation Hub that will connect the findings from the Smart Farm to their own grazing situation.  For example, the live weight data and ground cover data will be shared to members of the hub so they may apply it to their own enterprises. Members in the Innovation Hub will also have access to their own property’s NDVI Mapping data and Agrihive’s ‘Farmecco’ software for the analysis of their pasture and financial data to improve business profitability.
  3. Technology Trial
    Graziers wanting to trial new technology with a view to increasing productivity on their property can apply under this project for up to $5000 and, potentially, have access to the technology once the project finishes.  An example for this trial may be investigating new types of drones to assist with property maintenance or looking at GPS ear tags to track grazing patterns.

KEY DATES

  • January 2019 – one E-Beef Smart Farm per region selected through an open expression of interest process
  • March 2019 – Technology Trial applications close
  • May 2019 – Innovation Hub member applications close
  • June 2019 – second round of E-Beef Smart farm and Innovation Hub member applications close
  • December 2021 – project completion

PROJECT PARTNERS & FUNDING

E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland project is led by Southern Gulf NRM partnering with Desert Channels Queensland, Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.  This project is funded under the Australian Government’s Smart Farming Partnerships program, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.