2018 Challenges Released!


Our 2018 Challenges are in!

Challenge 1 - Grain Storage

The Challenge - To reduce degradation from high moisture in stored grains.

  • It is common in grain storage to have high moisture levels at certain times from filling at harvest through to removing from storage for use or sale. There are many and varied conditions that cause this - changes in weather, grain condition and management practices during storage to name a few.

  • High moisture in grain storage can increase insect infestations, various harmful moulds, or spontaneous combustion, which all have a significant impact on the grain quality and the price achieved at market.

  • Effectively managing moisture can increase the value of the grain, and importantly increase the amount of grain which is available for consumption.

  • It is well documented that within the next 50 years the world will potentially be running short of food to feed both humans and the animals needed to sustain the predicted population increases, which are outpacing world food production.

  • Post-harvest losses contribute and account for between 8% and 30% of downgraded food grains globally, depending on the country. Post harvest losses in certain countries are equal to or more than the total crop produced in Australia by approximately 30 million tonnes, which is downgraded in both quality and value or doesn’t make it into the food chain at all!

  • Incremental increases in quality and quantity that can make it into the food chain will have significant impacts, ie increased profit and available grains for consumption.

Why? Because Every Grain Counts.

Challenge 2 - Meat Chicken Weight Measurement

The Challenge - To create a  way to accurately measure the live weight in meat chickens.

It has been a longstanding challenge to measure the live weight in meat chickens prior to processing and farm pick-up. 

A solution is required to obtain individual bird live weight on-farm, taking into account critical information such as in-the-shed environment. 

A data collection method is required  that facilitates real-time data storage, as well as a reporting mechanism for farm managers that can be collated to improve communication and interpretation of slaughter schedules.  

Challenge 3 - Inspiring Older Farmer/Fishers to create Opportunities for the next Generation

The Challenge - How might we assist older farmers and fishers to create opportunities for younger farmers/fishers to utilise their business and/or land as part of the transition of management or ownership to a younger generation?

65% of young farmers (2016 YFBP survey) are experiencing access to land as a main barrier to getting into the business of farming and 69% believe that land availability would be the most helpful them get into the business of farming. Operating a primary production business and land ownership are often the desire of young farmers but opportunities such as agistment, leasing, share farming, profit sharing and other similar arrangements can be an important starting point to build a business, grow assets and worth as part of a long term goal to buy a farm.

There are new programs developing that focus on getting young people on to farms, but thought needs to be given as to how we support older farmers and fishers to make opportunities available to younger people, whilst still supporting their own needs. How do we support older farmers and fishers in this transition? How might we engage them in these types of discussions? What could be done differently? How do we link these opportunities with young farmers and fishers?  

If you see something you like, register here for agrihack 2018, and you could be the proud owner of a brand new business idea!

Dianna Somerville