'Big data' - what can it offer WA grain growers?

Author: Melissa Williams | Date: 20 Jan 2017

A keynote presentation at the GRDC Grains Research Update, Perth, will claim that agriculture has been left behind by the data revolution and is now in catch-up mode. Photo by Melissa Powell.

What can Western Australian growers, their support systems and researchers do to accelerate change towards data-enabled agriculture?

This question will be addressed in a joint presentation by two keynote speakers at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update, Perth.

The Update - Western Australia’s premier grains research forum – will be held at Crown Perth on February 27 and 28.

Speaking on day one of the event will be Bruce Maxwell, Professor of Applied Plant Ecology at Montana State University in Bozeman, USA, and Simon Cook, newly appointed WA Premier’s Research Fellow in Data Analytics, Curtin and Murdoch Universities. 

Their presentation ‘Big Data - hype or a necessity for WA grain growers?’ will claim that in a hyper-interconnected world, agriculture has been left behind by the data revolution and is now in catch-up mode. 

Despite the internet and media being ‘full of talk’ about the promise of ‘big data’ in agriculture, Professor Maxwell and Dr Cook will argue there is little evidence of adoption of data analytics by industry practitioners in Australia.

They will reflect on experience in other regions of the world and what could be transferred to improve the competitiveness of the WA grains industry.

Through a synthesis of personal experience and international knowledge, the presenters hope to de-mystify the meaning of data-enabled agriculture and outline a roadmap for a data-rich grains industry in this State.

Professor Maxwell’s research at Montana State University places emphasis on the control of weed populations in dryland grain production.

He has recently focused on synthesising large amounts of field information from sensors to make management decisions.

Dr Cook is an expert in applying data science and technologies to agricultural systems and natural resource management to help solve problems at a global, regional and farm level. 

The GRDC Grains Research Update, Perth, will provide information about latest grains innovations and research results and help to fine tune growers’ management strategies for the coming season.

It will boast five international experts and more than 50 presenters outlining developments in research and development (R&D) for WA grain growers.

The two-day GRDC Grains Research Update in Perth will be complemented by three one-day GRDC Grains Research Update events to be held in Mingenew, Kendenup and Merredin to enable growers to access a subset of the available information of particular relevance to that region.

These regional events will be held at the Mingenew Recreation Centre on February 24, the Kendenup Lodge on March 7 and the Merredin Recreation Centre on March 9.

Discounts apply for early-bird registrations for Perth’s GRDC Grains Research Update - until January 29, 2017.

To register or for more information visit here. More information can be obtained by contacting event coordinator the Grain Industry Association of WA on 08 6262 2128 or email researchupdates@giwa.org.au.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Rachel Nash, Grain Industry Association of WA
08 6262 2128


Melissa Williams, Cox Inall Communications
0428 884 414

GRDC Project Code GIA00004

Region West