Technology changing the way Australians farm

Telstra CTO Håkan Erikkson outlines how farmers can use data to their benefit as emerging technology continues to shape the way farmers do business.

Speaking at the 2019 Leaders Summit, Telstra Chief Technology Officer Håkan Eriksson introduced the concept of ‘Agriculture 4.0’ and discussed how a number of emerging, data-driven technologies can be used to the advantage of farmers.

According to Eriksson, the internet of things (IoT) is best likened to a human body with data acting as the brain, the networks (i.e. 5G) and end points (i.e. photos, drones or robots) acting as the nerves and sensors.

Outside of this central system are interfaces, which are becoming increasingly difficult to manage as providers struggle to share their information with consumers and protect it from cyber threats.

“IoT [is] the largest machine that man has ever made, it’s global and it has and will have a lot of things connected to it,” said Mr Eriksson.

Håkan Eriksson leads a discussion at the 2019 Leaders Summit.

“Those things, depending on who you ask, will be somewhere between 25-50 billion in the next few years so we humans will be the minority and all these things will be the majority of the network.”

As the demand for data continues to grow, Eriksson stressed the importance of combining different types of information and how beneficial it is for farmers.

For instance, using sensors to track humidity or carbon dioxide alongside capturing crop growth on cameras, would provide a more comprehensive understanding of how the farmer’s business is performing.

“One very important concept there [in relation to data] is what they call the data exchange and that is, you’re getting a lot of data but then if you could combine that with some other data, it would be much more valuable,” said Mr Eriksson.

“Out of that concept comes another concept which is what we call a digital twin, when you get all this data and all this compute power, you can basically create a copy of real life in the digital twin.”

As data continues to pave the way for businesses, Eriksson concluded with his recipe for success which consisted of the four c’s – competence, confidence, cooperation and communication.

You can view Håkan’s full presentation here:



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