09-May-2018

Soil carbon monitoring - just a matter of time


The Co-founder and General Manager of Australia’s largest Agtech accelerator says it’s only a matter of time before farmers will be able to install probes to detect their soil carbon levels.

Sam Trethewey, General Manager of Australia’s SproutX, says agriculture is the fastest growing pillar of Australia’s economy, currently worth around $60 billion, but our agricultural technology is not keeping up with the rest of the world.

In the latest Soils For Life video series, Sam says other countries have a vibrant innovation ecosystem within their agricultural sectors.

“No one was using ‘best practice’ principles to innovate in Australian agriculture, so we’ve bought this proven methodology to the industry, which results in a faster, more cost effective and innovative way of creating solutions”, Sam says.

One of the most advanced technologies monitors soil moisture and will eventually be adapted to monitor soil carbon.

“What they’re doing is they’re using a certain type of network and sensors in the soil and in water to monitor soil moisture and eventually nutrients in the soil”.

“They’re using that in cane farms in far north Queensland, and at the early stage the successes they’ve had have been a reduction in water and power consumption of up to 30%, which is exciting”.

“In time they’ll start putting in nitrate sensors as well, which will give them a very real reading of what is running off their farm”.

“In time it will be no big deal to drop carbon monitoring sensors into that existing infrastructure to let them know in real time what’s going on in their soil carbon levels”.

“Farmers are often blamed for not picking up technology. I think that’s because the technology wasn’t designed for them. It’s too fast, it’s too slow, it might require very good internet connectivity”.

“So, this is what we do at SproutX -  lean startup methodology, talking with farmers, understanding what the problems are, the environmental conditions they’re working with and of course building the product to suit them”, Sam says.

Find the Sam Trethewey interview at; https://www.facebook.com/SoilsforLife/videos/1760287323994471/

For more information, contact: Niree Creed, Media, Soils for Life:0418625595



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