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Agriculture RDC
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Agricultural Research Federation (AgReFed)

Led by CeRDI, a $1.4million project to make Agriculture data FAIR (findable, interoperable, accessible and reusable) has begun.

Background

Advances in farm technology have led to an increase in the collection of data by growers, agronomists, researchers and industry, with the potential to conduct advanced analysis techniques for better prediction. However, these data are not always findable, accessible or interoperable, and therefore not able to be easily integrated and reused. This leads to precious time lost in data cleaning and manipulation, or in worst case scenarios, poor science outcomes due to relevant data being ignored.

The AgReFed (Agricultural Research Federation) project was initiated by $800,000 funding from the Australian Research Data Commons, and over $600,000 investment from partners, and will provide the framework to assist in overcoming these data access issues.

The AgReFed will enable the integration of biological and yield data with time-series environmental data, sensor data, hyperspectral imagery data, and spatial data, through the implementation of data exchange and metadata standards, controlled vocabularies, and services over the data.

An Innovative Approach

This project is differentiated from other data initiatives by its primary focus on agriculture, its federated system architecture, the diverse sources of data, and in particular its social architecture. This will ensure the benefits are achievable, as each participant is being supported to make their data FAIR in a way that suits and serves them as well as the community, rather than being asked to conform to a single solution. The ability for participants and other stakeholders to be able to (interoperably) serve and consume data from the other participants to enhance agricultural research efforts will be the ultimate measure of success.

Future Directions

It is envisaged that the AgReFed community will expand beyond contributing partners to serve the collective interests of the Agricultural Research Community. If you have any queries about this project or would like to be added to our email list, please contact the Federation University project coordinator Megan Wong.

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    RESEARCH OUTPUT

    Whilst the agriculture sector has traditionally had strong translational links between research and industry, there is an increasing need for combining data from multiple sources to enable both research and industry to succeed. The AgReFed will provide access to reliable, interoperable, enhanced agricultural data collections to enable seamless data input to decision support tools used by farmers and agronomists. This will accelerate innovation by enabling advanced analysis techniques, tools and services to help inform management and policy decisions, thereby enhancing the translation of research to real world on-farm benefits.

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