Australian Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce will speak at a conference in June on how innovation in Australian agriculture will support increased farm productivity and profitability.

Joyce will join international leaders in big data, agriculture, and soil science at the Soil, Big Data, and the Future of Agriculture conference, hosted by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, with the support of DOW and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

"We are excited that the Australian Government is committed to supporting innovation in this fast moving era of the digitisation of agriculture," said event director and leader of the Soil Carbon Initiative Andrea Koch.

"Australia, with it’s world leading capabilities in precision agriculture, soil data, and agricultural research is well placed to take advantage of evolution of agriculture in the 21st century. With the United States leading the way in this field, we are excited to discuss developments in big data analytics and 3D soil informatics with our transpacific partners."

The conference will demonstrate how integrating technology and farm practice can enable an increase in food and fibre production while ensuring clean and green production values. It will also address the issues concerning the uptake of these advances, including farm data privacy and security and remote and regional broadband access.

The conference will feature sessions on the Internet of Agricultural Things (IoAT), digital mapping and improving soil productivity, government perspective on digital innovation in agriculture, and the policy implications of these technological developments.

US speakers at the conference include:

Dr Sonny Ramaswamy — Director, US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Mary Kay Thatcher — Senior Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation Charles Schleusner — Manager, Product Marketing and Strategy, John Deere Dr Mike Strobel — Director, US Department of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center Dr Pradip Das — Strategy and Operations Leader, Measurement, Climate Corporation (owned by Monsanto) Dr Terry Griffin — Precision agriculture and big data consultant

They will be joined by a host of Australian speakers including Dr Brian Keating, Executive Director, Agriculture, Food and Health, CSIRO; Alicia Garden, CEO Grain Growers; Alex Ball, General Manager Livestock Productivity, Meat & Livestock Australia; and Gerard Davis, General Manager, Innovation and Technology, Australian Agricultural Company.