September 11, 2019

The Global Table conference recap: Opportunity for precision ag

Marie Marion
Agronomist and Project Manager

This year's inaugural Global Table conference in Melbourne was not only insightful but inspiring. Focusing on the transformation of food systems and working towards a more sustainable future, this 3-day event drew experts in food and agriculture technology both from Australia and overseas, with discussions ranging from next-gen protein, AI and water conservation.

Whilst the keynote delivered by former US Secretary of State John Kerry generated much interest from broad media, it was the keynote from Dr Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer of Mars, that grabbed the interests of many in the food and ag industry.

In his keynote, Dr Shapiro highlighted that the world urgently needs to improve the yield, nutritional value and stress resistance of what he calls “orphan crops” - plants not used in cash crops but vital foodstuff to much of the world’s population. Unlike cash crops, these “orphans” have been neglected as they have little commercial interest. However, crops like cassava and yams, play a big part in feeding more than a billion people in developing regions. Imagine what if we could genetically improve these crops at a similar rate as we have for cereals over the past 2 centuries!

Precision ag to meet farming needs

I was invited to represent FluroSat in a panel discussion focusing on the latest developments in precision ag products and infrastructure, and how farmers can use precision ag to meet their needs. While each panel member shared our own perspectives, there were some common themes that emerged - improvements in on-farm connectivity, the wide range of solutions already available, and they can be used to solve the larger problems by first solving smaller ones.

When we take a step back and look at precision ag tools, it's no longer about what the best tool looks like, but how data can be easily integrated before the already large number of data “silos” that agronomists and farmers have to deal with gets worse. It’s hard to solve even the smaller problems if we're unable to get a consolidated analysis from our in-field IoT devices, machinery, remote sensing and farm management tools.

From a FluroSat standpoint, the big opportunity for precision ag is in providing comprehensive decision support tools that integrate data from disparate sources. This gives agronomists and farmers a view that helps them make an informed management or production decision.

We took home an award!

We were also delighted that our work was noticed at the conference - We received an award for "Unlocking the Value of Artificial Intelligence in the Food System" presented by the Alibaba Group!

The award was dedicated to the company that uses the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence most aptly to benefit the food system. We were evaluated on the innovation of our technologies, scalability and the possible impact on people or planet.

At FluroSat, we developed and will continuously innovate on the next-gen of agronomic analytics “engine” that's fueled by multiple data sources that, when combined with scientifically-validated agronomic models, results in useful and usable insights for our agronomists and farmers.

The Global Table conference was a phenomenal event and great opportunity for us to speak and exchange ideas with friends in the ag and food communities across the world. As we move towards creating a sustainable world, we'll continue to see the creation of more data and FluroSat is committed to developing innovative ways for agronomists and farmers to capitalise on it. If this resonates with you, please feel free to contact us at

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