As the least digitised industry in the world, agriculture is on the cusp of the next technological wave with implications for investors, entrepreneurs, governments and farmers. The United States is leading the way in the digitisation of agriculture, especially in terms of capital invested, with Australia hard at work to mature.

A new brief released today by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney sets out the steps through which digital technologies are becoming integrated into agricultural production systems in Australia and the United States. 

Written by Sarah Nolet, a food systems innovation expert and CEO of global food and agriculture strategy firm AgThentic, the brief suggests Australia’s digital technologies sector will need to adapt to the current expectations and capabilities of Australian farmers and the realities of Australian agricultural environments.

"The application of increasingly advanced data analytics platforms – used to optimise on-farm production – in American agriculture has the potential to create a technological divide between farming in Australia and in the United States," Nolet says. 

“Harnessing digital technologies to optimise Australia’s agricultural system will require entrepreneurs, the tech community and investors to work closely with the farming community who ultimately need to see a clear value proposition for their operations.”

Key points

  • The implementation of digital technologies in agriculture will be critical for Australia’s ability to meet growing global demands and remain competitive in global markets.
  • In Australia, the current state of both development and adoption of digital agriculture technology is less mature than the United States; centred on single use-case solutions, enabled by descriptive and diagnostic analytics.
  • Digital agriculture technology maturity culminates in the development and deployment of predictive and prescriptive data analytics platforms, and the United States is a global leader.

View research brief

Media enquiries

Drew Sheldrick
T 02 9114 2622
drew.sheldrick@sydney.edu.au