THE MANAGING director of one of Australia's largest farm services has said the agricultural support and advisory sector will be critical in allowing the industry to reach its full potential.
Rob Clayton, Nutrien Ag Solutions, said Australia would need a large step up in grain yields if it was to get close to the National Farmers' Federation's much-publicised target of $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.
"At present the NFF is forecasting the industry to reach $84 billion by 2030, meaning there is still a lot of work to do if we want to hit the original goal," Mr Clayton said.
He cautioned that it was not as simple as boosting planted area, with reports recently showing that Australia was reaching its peak for cropped area.
"We need to farm smarter and there will need to be a diversity of new innovation and a willingness to embrace new technology which in turn will drive yield increases.
And that is where Mr Clayton said the ag services sector needed to kick in.
"There is so much new information out there and as a farmer there is the danger of information overload.
"The farm services sector will have a really important role in going through all this global research and all these new products and drilling down and finding what is going to be useful and productive when used on an individual farmgate level," he said.
"There is not one product or service that is just perfect for everyone, everywhere and that is why advice to get what is right for an individual producer is so important."
"When we are doing our job well we are taking this big picture information and tailoring it to a local level, according to each farmer's own individual needs, including their paddock history, soil type, all those sort of considerations."
He said Australia was in an interesting position in regards to the international agricultural research and development pipeline.
"We're not a massive market, we don't have the scale of many of our competitors, but we are seen as a pair of safe hands for newly developed innovation, which means we often get access to new technologies, especially in terms of crop protection, where we are seen as a good spot to launch."
"As an industry we cannot take our place at the front of the queue for granted and we need to continue to work to ensure we are a good place for these companies to launch their products.
"Farm advisers need to ensure their stewardship of a new product is a priority and ensure that new technology has its best chance possible to add value in each particular growers circumstances."