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New AgTIDE DATA Farm Project is great news for the region


Today’s Victorian Government announcement of $2.5 million to support the establishment of a new, digitally-enabled demonstration farm near Horsham is great news for Wimmera Southern Mallee and for the grain growing community, says Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership Chair David Jochinke.

The Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development was at Longerenong Agricultural College today to announce both the AgTIDE DATA Farm project -  which is a Wimmera Southern Mallee (WSM) Regional Partnership priority -  as well as the $20 million new Victorian Agriculture Skills Statement: Smarter Safer Farms. The latter includes $10 million in farm safety and well-being initiatives, and $10 million for a skills program focused on financial literacy, risk management, farm planning and adaptation to climate change.

“The Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership is thrilled that the Government has listened to our Partnership and to the concerns and possibilities of our community and has agreed to fund the AgTIDE DATA Farm Project, “says Mr Jochinke.

The $3.6 million AgTIDE DATA project involves establishing a 1000 hectare digitally enabled demonstration farm at Longerenong, with sensors and devices allowing detailed data to be collected.

“The farm will test and analyse the latest digital agricultural technology that could then be applied in the Wimmera- Mallee farming environment,” explains Mr Jochinke. “It’s about applying agriculture technology in a real life environment.”

He adds: “This should help drive on-farm adoption of this technology and ensure grain growers here remain among the world’s best and that our industry is positioned to benefit from digital advances.”

The project has been developed in partnership with the Wimmera Development Association, Longerenong College, Skillinvest Ltd, Birchip Cropping Group and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water.

Earlier this year, the Government announced support for the first stage of AgTIDE, with $578,000 to deliver an agricultural skills and training initiative.

The WSM Regional Partnership was set up by the Victorian Government in 2016 recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

Over the past two years, the Partnership has held three Regional to listen to the community on issues that matter to them.

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