For the second year running, Agworld will team up with the GRDC and DPIRD’s co-funded PestFax service in Western Australia to bring accurate insights through data to the grains industry. Agworld, which boasts one of the world’s most sophisticated standardized data platforms for agriculture, will expand the base of users that is able to participate in the program this year; where last year only the Elders WA agronomy group was involved, all users can participate now.
For consenting users in Western Australia, any records entered in Agworld that contain pests, weeds or diseases and match a predetermined set of crop/pest/disease combinations are sent as anonymous reports to PestFax. Agworld users have to option to opt-in to this program before any data will get sent to PestFax and, to address and allay privacy concerns, data is anonymized.
PestFax is a service through which growers and agronomist in the grain belt of WA are notified of insect, disease and weed reports throughout the region, therefore allowing them to combat these pests more proactively. In the 2018/19 season, the PestFax team received 2,007 reports, of which 1200 came from Agworld users.
Agworld Chief Product & Marketing Officer Matt Collins comments: Unlike other solutions which opt-for free-form data entry, Agworld has always focused on providing our customers with a structured database to underpin their farm data, including pest and disease records. This structured approach to data management not only brings a direct benefit to their business but enables them to contribute to initiatives like PestFax, which will benefit the agricultural industry as a whole.
Agworld General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa Simon Foley adds to this: “We’re seeing an increasing trend of growers as well as agronomists and resellers wanting to be able to utilise their farm data instead of just recording what happens on their farm. The uptake of the Agworld platform, with over 75% of Australian agronomists actively using Agworld, clearly shows that a structured data platform which allows for data entry at all levels is what the industry wants. Being able to then offer our users to share or not share their data with projects such as PestFax is fantastic and really allows for ag data to be used for more than just on-farm improvements.
“Agriculture is probably one of the most collaborative industries in Australia and any growers or agronomists that I speak to are looking for ways to contribute their data to initiatives like PestFax in order to help the industry in general. At Agworld, we are passionate about enabling our clients to join this kind of big data initiatives without causing them any hassle or extra work.” Simon Foley concludes.