Sometimes there are quiet achievers who come up with a new way of doing things. Andrew Barfield, a cane-grower from Mackay started experimenting with growing rice about 12 years ago. Now working with Rice Research (a Sunrice subsidiary), the Mackay region is now showing the world new ways of growing rice with great yields.
To put this in context, this could open up new land or countries to rice growing that weren't suitable to date - given the right soils, rainfall and other conditions. The global population is forecast to reach 9 billion by 2050, and this may contribute, in some way, to helping feed those extra people.
Thanks to Andrew Barfield and others who are all collaborating on this. Here at QLDStartupShowcase we are pleased to see this happening here.
Featured on the ABC program LandLine on Feb 13, 2016 - let them tell it in their own words.
JOHN TAYLOR: In other parts of Australia, rice is grown in flooded fields, with water permanently in rice crops for all or most of the growing season. Concrete stops between the rice bays allow water flow to be controlled. Water sits like a blanket to help control variations in temperatures. What they're doing is far more cutting-edge than it appears. They're growing rice aerobically - out of water, above ground, alternately watering it and then letting it dry out.
RUSSELL FORD: So what's happening here in Mackay and North Queensland is unique around the world. There's not much rice grown under these aerobic alternate wetting and drying conditions.
JOHN TAYLOR: Water's supplied either through rainfall or irrigation.
RUSSELL FORD: We're getting yields that are nearly mimicking full-irrigated crops, which is amazing to us, and many researchers around the world, it's amazing for. So, it's just showing that the plant can adapt and so can the farmer adapt to those techniques.
JOHN TAYLOR: And to think it all began with such a simple thing as trying to please your wife.
ANDREW BARFIELD: Yes, amazing, isn't it? Happy wife, happy life. (Laughs)
HiveHaven is a company that has developed an innovative range of honey bee and Australian stingless native bee bee boxes. Our innovative design and technology combats major threats from overheating, spore-based disease and pests including the deadly small hive beetle, as well as hive theft, through the use of GPS tracking.
As a sustainable manufacturing alternative to hoop pine, our boxes are made from durable materials that require minimal maintenance, subsequently providing beekeepers with improved returns on their time and investment.
In addition, Hive Haven again sets itself apart as a pioneer within the industry by being the first to offer in-built Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
Our very own honey and native bees have been housed in Hive Haven boxes since late 2013, with remarkable results. Our proto-types have been successfully trialled by members of the Queensland Professional Bee Keepers Association for over a year.
Bees face an uncertain future. They are at a tipping point. Yet, they are so critical to human survival, due to their pollination role in nature and also for our agricultural crops. Even the White House and the Australian Senate have looked into this issue. It is estimated that bees currently contribute $1.7 billion to the Australian economy.
As beekeepers we were looking for solutions to our own problems and this has grown into a commercial product which delivers sustainable solutions for the issues facing the apiarist industry.
HiveHaven is actively seeking sponsors who may wish to commit to corporate social responsibilities (CSR), along with the accompanying tax benefits. Corporate sponsorship would enable HiveHaven to continue its research into current and future problems that bees face.
Improved Soil Health
Agalytics mission is to address one of the World’s biggest challenges, feeding a growing global population sustainably.
We are developing a smartphone enabled reader for improved soil fertility management. A system for georeferenced soil sampling, and the accurate measurement of soil nutrients and pH.
Rapid and cost effective infield soil testing empower farmers to make informed, data driven, nutrient management decisions to achieve maximum crop yields, whilst minimising inputs and maintaining good soil health.
WELCOME TO SWARMFARMING
Advances in robotic technology mean that it’s now possible to deliver a new approach to the production of food and fibre crops around the world.
SwarmFarming will enable new methods of farming that were never possible with traditional farming equipment.
Small, lightweight robots that traverse fields 24 hrs per day, 7 days per week, can pluck individual weeds out of the ground without using herbicide, or kill them, using microwave and laser technology.
The SwarmFarm robotic software and hardware platform has been developed from the “ground up” to undertake weed control in field crops but will be capable of delivering all six elements of any farming system – planting, weed control, insect control, fertiliser application, irrigation and harvesting.
In 2016, you will see the first generation of our technology working in grain crops, horticulture, tree crops, vineyards and sugarcane around Australia.
BEELINE Technologies, Inc. was the first to develop and commercialize a technology to make farming more efficient while increasing total production. This technology came about as a result of technological developments in other industries crossing the divide into agriculture.BEELINE technology is used in a wide range of agricultural applications such as seedbed preparation, controlled traffic farming, sub-surface drip irrigation installation, precision spraying and seeding, cultivation, tillage, listing and topographical mapping.
Since 1997 BEELINE™ has performed cultural operations on more than 20 million acres globally in crops such as cotton, wheat, potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes and miscellaneous vegetables.
in January 2008 Hemisphere GPS acquired Beeline Technologies. The following is from an article in GISCafe from then.
CALGARY - January 2, 2008- Hemisphere GPS (TSX: HEM), a designer and manufacturer of advanced GPS products, has entered into a definitive agreement with BEELINE Technologies Pty Ltd. under which Hemisphere GPS has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares and ongoing operations of BEELINE for total consideration of US$21 million.
BEELINE, based in Brisbane, Australia, is a private, precision guidance software developer, providing intelligent high-end GPS guidance and auto-steering solutions for agriculture equipment and autonomous control solutions for other machine control applications including the mining, construction and military market verticals. For more than a decade, BEELINE's experienced teams have worked with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology organizations to deliver flexible, leading-edge technology solutions for ground-based vehicles worldwide. Historically, a GPS applications provider, BEELINE recently transitioned its business strategy to focus exclusively on its advanced software platform which leverages highly accurate "steer-by-wire" automatic vehicle steering. This acquisition enables Hemisphere GPS to accelerate the evolution of its leading auto-steering products from hydraulic-based steering to electronic vehicle control which accesses the vehicle electronic systems using the industry standard Controller Area Network (CAN) interface protocol.
Crunchbase: Beeline Technologies
Until now, Australian prawn farmers have needed to feed their prawns with a pellet that included fish meal or fish oil to ensure the prawns grew fast and were a healthy and high-quality product for consumers. With the world's wild fish stocks under pressure, our scientists went looking for new and better ways to sustainably boost productivity.
Prawns fed with Novacq grow on average 20-30 per cent faster, are healthier and can be produced with no wild fish products in their diet. This means more profit for prawn farmers and less pressure on our precious marine resources. It has also stimulated a whole new industry in Australia: the production of sustainable prawn feed.
The first of a series of patents for the Novacq production technology was granted in 2009. Since then, the CSIRO Novacq team has worked closely with Australian and Asian prawn farmers and feed manufacturing companies to implement a global commercialisation strategy.
The production of Novacq has commenced under licence in Australia, and in China and Vietnam, two of the world’s largest producers of farmed prawns. Additional markets for Novacq technology are under development in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Our Novacq licensees anticipate that the benefits of Novacq will be available to all Australian prawn farmers by 2015.
In 2014, the team that developed and commercialised Novacq was recognised with the CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science.
A world authority in aquaculture, Dr Nigel Preston heads the CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship. A decade ago, his Brisbane team started chasing one of aquaculture's holy grails: a fish-free prawn food. Last year it stunned the aquaculture world with news they'd done it. They'd developed Novaq - the world's first fish-free additive for prawn food.
Novacq is sold by Ridley: www.ridley.com.au/products/ridley-aqua-feed/prawns
Media: ABC Landline April 2014