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Tech boom brings benefit across entire supply chain

Tech boom brings benefit across entire supply chain

Geoff Wearne  ●   20 September 2016

Investment in agtech is booming and the impact for agribusinesses is expected to happen both inside and outside the farm gate, across the entire supply chain.

When we think agtech we tend to think of on-farm innovation, from smart gates that can track which cow is due for milking to drones which can collect water samples. But the digital farm revolution is actually happening right across the supply chain – in and outside the farm gate.

Over the past two decades, and especially over the past few years, the pace of digital technology development has sped up. The digital age of farming is here and it’s delivering more data and deeper insights than we ever imagined.

Data is becoming the new commodity and using it effectively adds value to operations and the broader agri ecosystem.

Knowing what data is already available, what data needs to be collected and how best to use the information will help improve output and lower production costs inside the farm gate.

For example, developing a digital farm map or a digital management strategy allows specific and very precise data to be collected in real time and communicated to agronomists, suppliers or farm staff.

The entire supply chain will benefit from increased data integration, not just the producers.

Recently Anna Speer, CEO of the online livestock sale yard, Auctions Plus, was part of CommBank’s panel on agtech at the Commonwealth Bank AgQuip field days, and her story is a great example of the way technology is changing the way producers, processors, buyers and sellers are interacting.

Anna is looking to reduce some of the uncertainty in the livestock market by working with producers, financiers, feedlots and others in the supply chain. Right now she is working on forward contracting as a method to allow buyers to secure their supply early and ensure sellers still receive the benefit of a competitive auction structure.

Programs like this are exciting and promising and we’re proud to be part of helping new ideas get off the ground. Finance is an important part of the digital future for agribusiness; and CommBank continues to support partnerships in the market that can benefit the entire agribusiness supply chain, including partnerships with agtech companies.

Technology is positioned to help the entire agri sector; it’s a matter of working together to ensure we can harness the benefits.

Are you ready to take the next step in your agribusiness? See how we can support you to achieve your business goals.

Executive General Manager, Regional and Agribusiness Banking

Geoff joined the Commonwealth Bank in 1988 and has had broad experience across Retail, Business and Institutional Banking. Prior to his current role, Geoff spent five years as General Manager of Corporate Financial Services NSW/ACT and three years as the Commonwealth Bank Country head and Head of Institutional Banking New Zealand.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.