Australian agricultural technology start-up Agronomeye has collaborated with Microsoft and Australian government agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop the AgTwin platform, which create digital twins of farm properties using real-time data.
The AgTwin platform uses high-resolution maps of farms and modelling techniques to produce the digital twins, which present data including the flow of water across the property and soil moisture profiles.
“The shift towards digitisation of agriculture means there is this fundamental need to digitise the farming system,” said Stu Adam, co-founder and CEO of Agronomeye. “There is an incredible amount of data available to farmers, but being able to integrate it, apply it directly and specifically to their own farms, and act on it, has been difficult. Agronomeye unlocks this capability in a far more engaged, practical way.”
At CSIRO’s Boorowa Agricultural Research Station, the AgTwin platform is used to present a collection of data channelled through CSIRO’s Senaps platform and Microsoft Azure FarmBeats. Azure FarmBeats is a research project from Microsoft Research that has developed into a data integration and aggregation platform in the cloud. It brings together multiple agricultural data sets, including data sourced from in-soil and on-farm sensors, satellite imagery and drones as well as Bureau of Meteorology data, which can then be analysed using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
“Agriculture is one of Australia’s primary industries that now has the opportunity to reimagine many practices thanks to access to up-to-date and reliable insights,” said Lee Hickin, CTO of Microsoft ANZ. “Agronomeye is one of a number of Microsoft partners around the world that is bringing unique capability and expertise to the sector, leveraging Azure FarmBeats and heralding a new era of modern, resilient and sustainable digital farming.”
The platform leverages CSIRO’s agricultural domain knowledge and Senaps data and analytics services with analytics and modelling powered by AI.
“Our experience so far with CSIRO’s agricultural research station is that we can customise, data-driven insights in a timely and easily interpreted way to help us make informed decisions,” said Dr. Dave Henry, principal research scientist and research leader in digital agriculture for CSIRO.