Cronus Australia: Precision Pastoralism
Cronus Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, Cisco, Telstra, Data61
 

The aim of this project is to transform the production of cattle in Northern Australia, through the application of Precision Pastoralism. This new approach involves the use of remote sensing technologies coupled with predictive modelling and the use of data analytics, drawing on real time monitoring, to provide management with the highest degree of control over each Land Management Unit (paddock) and its outputs.

The same methodologies are used to optimise the utilisation of the total production system (stations, irrigated pastures, backgrounding farms and feedlots) alongside a controlled supply chain, to deliver the highest quality product ready for export in a precise manner and timeframe, from paddock to plate. The project will also involve the development of an Operational Management Platform (OMP) to enable operational management to monitor operational conditions and support decisions to intervene, to maintain optimal performance.

Innovation Central Role

Cronus Australia was invited to work out of the Innovation Centre for a period of 4 weeks, to collaborate on the scope of the project, coordinating participation from relevant researchers and their proposed input, formation of an implementation budget, establish the topology of the technology solutions to underpin the project innovation and prepare an implementation plan. The results forms the basis of the CRCp proposal lodged by Cronus Australia for a $3 million grant from the CRC for Developing Northern Australia.

Outcome

01
Baseline the exiting production system based on KPI’s used to establish the cost benefit ratio (impacts), to enable a reliable ‘gain’ measure to be monitored as the operational approach is transformed. Using this information scan all existing research and redevelopment work applied to livestock productions systems with a view to adopting and adapting this and then augmenting, to meet the needs of the North Australian Cattle production Industry.

Outcome

02
Develop the OMP consisting of two separate components, the LMU Control System and Growth Pathway System, housed on a supporting Data Management platform with customised visualisation tools (Dashboards), enabling decision support and flagging appropriate operational interventions.

Outcome

03
Construct a suitable operational control environment, consisting of at least 5 cattle stations/farms, each with a trial paddock fully instrumented, to enable real-time monitoring, measurement and control.

Outcome

04
Conduct ongoing testing and refinement of the OMP, based on operational feedback, real-time data analysis, identification of other contributing factors, to be incorporated into the embedded modelling and individual user experience.

Outcome

05
Document the results of the project and determine the projected future impact benefits of CA adopting this transformed approach to the operations of its business and thus the flow on opportunities for the wider industry. Innovations:
 

Next Steps

Subject to Cronus Australia being awarded the $3 million Grant, the Innovation Centre will participate in the implementation of the project, supporting further innovation design processes associated with paddock instrumentation and the rural and remote connectivity work package.
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