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GRDC: On-farm operations optimisation EOI

Opportunity for

  • Agricultural equipment manufacturers, providers of farm management information systems, SMEs, AgTech start-ups, research organisations, Universities, corporate farming businesses, farming system groups and others.

Opportunity description

Industry challenge:

Advancements in positioning technologies, machine telematics, machine autonomy, farm management information systems (FMIS) and digital agronomy provide new opportunities with operations research in broadacre farming. For example, through identifying more efficient path plans or operating sequences for a fleet of connected vehicles involved in an operation (e.g., headers, chaser bins, trucks, and field bins during harvest), or through using data and analytics across multiple machines and FMIS to help machines and/or growers respond dynamically to new input data based on paddock conditions, environmental conditions, markets, or other variables.

Any improvement in the timeliness operations can also have large impacts agronomically through increased yield, optimised input costs and/or reduced risk. Similarly, when applied across thousands of hectares multiple times a year, any increase in fuel efficiency could result in large cost savings to growers and reduced scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions. Through these and/or other opportunities, the potential to create value for Australian grain growers is vast.

While there are existing technology products in the market that help growers improve the efficiency of their operations, GRDC’s intent is to work with these businesses (and or/others) to push harder in search of untapped value.

Current opporunity:

GRDC is seeking interest from organisations with the capability to:

  • Work with a subset of innovative grain growers across Australia to identify priority on-farm use-cases (e.g. workflows with spraying, harvest logistics, etc.) to explore in search of potential improvements in operating efficiency;
  • Work with those growers to design, test, evaluate, and improve technological approaches to improving on-farm operational efficiencies via analytics and/or automation;
  • Communicate the on-farm learnings to other growers and the broader grains industry;
  • Bring to market in Australia commercially viable products and/or services that enable growers to realise improvements in profit and sustainability through more efficient on-farm operations.

Opportunity background:

Australian grain growers operate complex, highly dynamic production systems. They often need to complete a task in short time over a large area while juggling inter-dependencies between multiple machines and operators (e.g., header, chaser bin, field bin, and trucks during harvest). Compounding the complexity are limited labour availability, variable agronomic considerations from one paddock to the next and dynamic weather conditions and markets. Although many Australian grain growers have finely tuned operations, this level of operational complexity is inherently difficult to manage.

It’s even more difficult to optimise given the complex interactions between biophysical variables (e.g., rainfall, wind speed, crop phenology), input costs (e.g., labour, fuel, fertiliser) and market conditions that can affect farm profitability differently in different farming systems, locations, and seasons.

Potential other applications

There are multiple opportunities to uncover new value pools through on-farm operations research and in turn develop new products, services and value chains.

Opportunity type

Seeking interest, Seeking solutions

Express interest by

17 October 2022
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Early to Mid (TRL 3-4)
For opportunities that are seeking solutions providers who are in the early to mid stages of readiness.
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Opportunity led by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Cereal grains Other rural industries Pulse grains

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

GRDC's purpose is to invest in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian growers. We invest in projects and …

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Cereal grains Other rural industries Pulse grains
  • Location


  • Organisation type

    Research funding body

Logo for Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

Related commercial opportunities

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Logo for GrainInnovate – AgTech Venture Capital Fund
Multiple industries

GrainInnovate – AgTech Venture Capital Fund

Opportunity for

  • Individuals and companies building a technology-enabled early stage business with application to Australian grain growers
  • Equity investors interested in exploring co-investment opportunities relevant to the Grain Innovate Fund
  • Led by

    Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

  • Opportunity type

    Seeking interest, Seeking investment, Seeking solutions, Seeking partners

  • Readiness
    Mid (TRL 5)
    Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).

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