A $1.4million project to make Agriculture data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) has begun.

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 AgRDC (Agriculture Research Data Cloud) 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 AgRDC 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.

The AgRDC 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.

This project is different from other data initiatives because of its 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.

Project partners are:

It is envisaged that the AgRDC community will expand beyond initial 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 ARDC project coordinator Kerry Levett.