Katrina ‘Treen’ Swift and her family farm 13 different cereal, oilseed, pulse and fibre crops across 4,000 hectares at Parkes, in Central West NSW.
With operations so large, complex and diverse, Treen can see the benefit Artificial Intelligence (AI) could bring to her farm and agriculture generally in the coming years.
Farm sustainability and biodiversity data are increasingly in demand across the supply chain, and AI could transform the industry through large-scale data analysis to improve management of natural capital, inputs and operations.
Treen will study these opportunities as part of a two-year Nuffield scholarship, supported by GrainCorp.
“Artificial Intelligence is a life-changing technology that will impact all lives in the coming years,” Treen says.
“I am keen to see improvements in biodiversity monitoring, crop inputs and management of data gathered in the course of our routine operations, to drive better economic and environmental decisions on farm.”
There remains some uncertainty around the broader impact of AI, but Treen believes agriculture needs to be on the front foot in terms of implementation and policy to ensure the solutions are tailored to the industry.
“We need to make sure it’s well managed when we bring it onto farms here.
“Throughout my two-year journey I’ll be looking at a range of algorithms, data sets and research, but I’ll also be investigating the best way to link this knowledge with simple and practical on-farm practices.”
Treen will travel to the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, the US, Canada, Israel and Japan, as well as domestically within Australia, to research the capture and use of artificial intelligence in the supply chain.
“I’m really looking forward to connecting with a new network of international people who are passionate about solving the big problems.”Katrina Swift
Michael Anderson, GrainCorp General Manager, Sustainability, says the company is excited to support Treen as our 2024 Nuffield Scholar.
“Investing in the future of sustainable and innovative agriculture is front of mind for GrainCorp – supporting the Nuffield program is just one way we do this.
“We are already using artificial intelligence and similar technologies to change and improve our operations and recognise the role they can play in supporting sustainable agriculture.
“Treen’s research into AI will be highly valued among our employees, customers, growers and the broader agriculture industry. We’re excited this project combines Treen’s on-farm expertise with global leaders in AI and are looking forward to supporting her research throughout the program.”Michael Anderson, GrainCorp General Manager, Sustainability