The Farms of the Future program supports primary producers to adopt commercially available Agtech as well as on-farm connectivity solutions that underpin this technology. Assistance is through:
- training for farmers to build their technology skills
- options to manage the risk of purchasing technology through:
- primary producer grants that reduce the financial costs of technology
- improving the accessibility and quality of market information available about Agtech and connectivity solutions
- creating strong support and advisory networks with staff located in key regions.
The overall objective is to support primary producers to realise the known benefits available from connectivity and Agtech, such as boosting productivity, increased competitiveness, improved workplace safety and more sustainable use of resources.
The Department of Regional NSW funds the $48 million Farms of the Future program through the Regional Digital Connectivity program.
The program is delivered and administered through the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
The program will run to 30 June 2025.
The program is being rolled out across 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) including:
- Carrathool, Griffith and Leeton
- Moree Plains and Narrabri
- Orange and Cabonne
- Ballina, Byron and Lismore
The primary criteria for identifying priority locations were:
a. Gross Value of Production (GVP) for the four priority sectors
b. Number of farming businesses for the four priority sectors.
The secondary criteria included:
a. Known smart farm activity
b. Presence of LPWAN infrastructure
c. The similarity of LGAs that adjoin.
The purpose of this analysis was to ensure the prioritised pilot locations have sufficient farm numbers, production levels, and other key requirements to support a program of this nature.
All ANZSIC agricultural sectors in the eligible LGAs, however the program focuses on the agricultural sectors: Cotton, Livestock (sheep and beef), Grains and Horticulture - tree crops and vines.
Fisheries and aquaculture are not included in the program.
Agtech is the collective term for the tools and technologies – sensors, farm management software, imagery, and smart farm equipment – that enable best practice agriculture. In the case of the Farms of the Future program, it is focused on connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT) based Agtech, which can support and integrate into a farm wide technology approach.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices, the cloud, as well as the devices themselves. The Internet of Things integrates everyday ‘things’ with the internet.
Examples of farm IoT devices include:
- Fuel level monitors
- Water level sensors
- Security cameras
- Water flow sensors
- Pump and valve controls and monitors
- Livestock tags and in paddock weigh stations
- Location devices on farm machinery
- Gate movement sensors
The NSW Government is supporting the implementation of on-farm connectivity solutions with grant funding for eligible farmers in the target LGAs which will incentivize farmers and help to address some of the barriers farmers face when adopting digital technology devices on their property.
A one day in person or online training program designed to educate primary producers on the capabilities of farm Agtech and how to enable connectivity on their farms.
NSW primary producers in the program local government areas (LGAs).
To enable producers to purchase optimum Agtech and connectivity solutions for their farms, a training program was developed to equip growers with the knowledge and skills to identify, implement and utilise cost effective Agtech.
In-person training sessions are conducted regularly in the target local government areas. Primary producers are encouraged to attend full day in person training. For those that are unable to attend the training course is also available online.
Yes, there is an online training course available for growers not situated in the program local government areas.
A monitoring plan maps out a farms pain points and addresses the connectivity and Agtech needs of a producer’s farm.
Tocal College organise trainers with extensive experience in agriculture, adopting Agtech solutions and farm connectivity.
Applicants must be located in one of the designated LGAs for this program, hold a valid ABN and receive at least $40,000 in income from primary production per annum or operate a bona fide primary production enterprise.
Please refer to the grant guidelines for detailed eligibility criteria.
The grant is a reimbursement rather than a co-contribution.
Before submitting your application, you will need to complete the Farms of the Future Training Program and develop your AgTech Plan (incorporating a Monitoring Plan and a Tech List).
Once your application is approved, you may purchase the Agtech specified in your AgTech Plan and have it installed at your primary industry enterprise.
You can then make a claim and receive 70% of that cost back (maximum $35,000), provided you have complied with all the criteria in the Guidelines.
For example, an approved grower makes an eligible purchase of AgTech for $50,000 (ex GST) and will receive $35,000.
Applications are limited to one application per Australian
Business Number (ABN) for the first round of the program.
Additional applications may be made for any subsequent rounds provided the total grant to
that applicant does not exceed $35,000.
Suppliers of innovative Agtech devices and connectivity solutions who met the criteria set out in the NSW government’s Expression of Interest tender held between July – August 2022.
The NSW government conducted an Expression of Interest tender between July – August 2022 for suppliers seeking to be included as a Program Partner for the Farms of the Future grant program.
Yes. Farmers applying for a grant can only purchase products listed in the Agtech Catalogue from the approved Program Partners and their Authorised Resellers.
Yes. Goods and services listed in the Agtech Catalogue from program partners (suppliers) can be purchased directly from the program partner or through their Authorised Resellers. When purchasing from an Authorised Reseller, the invoice and quote must clearly reference the product name and catalogue number from your tech list and that the invoice/quote is for the Farms of the Future program.
The Agtech catalogue will be updated with Program Partner products throughout the project.
In 2023, an additional Expression of Interest tender will be released to enable new suppliers to submit an application for inclusion.
Yes. Prices are fixed for 6 months and updated every 6 months.