Investing in agriculture means much-needed investment in science and technology to find myriad solutions to everyday farming challenges, including labour shortages.

RMIT University reports on how Kilter Rural has begun looking for sophisticated solutions to meet and improve Australian farmland productivity.

“Technology is advancing significantly in the agriculture sector and a lot of this innovation is being driven by labour shortages. Robotics and automation, in particular, have become hot topics because they can reduce labour costs quite a lot,” says Kilter Rural agronomist Johanna Morgan.

“As an industry, we’re not there yet in terms of autonomous robotic equipment but we think it’s important to be at the forefront of technology. That’s why we’ve set up our orchards to be ready for when the technology becomes viable.”

Upskilling staff is required when implementing digital solutions, says General Manager of Farmland and Ecosystems Michael Neville.

“We’ve approached this as a development program from day one where we’re upskilling our existing staff to work with these systems to complement their roles. Robotics and automated systems are only part of our plans for the future of the farm and staff have been very supportive.”

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