Farmer Kim Bremner said better internet service was needed in rural areas so farmers could take advantage of modern technology to make savings.
Farmer Kim Bremner said better internet service was needed in rural areas so farmers could take advantage of modern technology to make savings. Will Hunter

How better internet can save billions for national farmers

NEW research suggests there might be a correlation between improved internet services and success in the agricultural industry.

According to AgForce Queensland, the research shows better connectivity could increase agricultural product by a total of $20 billion.

Kim Bremner, grain and cotton grower from Dalby, said massive technological advancements in agricultural techniques and equipment had not been matched by improvements in connectivity, costing the country billions.

"Precision farming technology can make our land many times more productive while improving environmental outcomes, but we need internet in the bush to be as good as it is in the city," Mr Bremner said.

"Modern farm machinery like irrigators, sprayers and harvesters have on-board technology that can customise the treatment of each individual square metre of paddock, maximising the productivity of our land while reducing water usage, use of farm chemicals, run-off and erosion.

"But the use of such NASA-like technology requires internet services far beyond that available across most of Queensland.

"Surely such an investment in the economy, employment and sustainability of agriculture would pay dividends."

Mr Bremner said a national tech hub would help many farmers across regional Queensland, and would be more than just an excuse for farmers to tune in to internet-based entertainment.

"It's not about rural families being able to stream Game of Thrones or their Spotify favourite, this is about encouraging innovation in agriculture by providing industry-specific advice about the internet and digital applications that will drive productivity gains," he said.

"People living and working in rural, regional and remote areas need fairer, more reliable and affordable phone and internet services for community safety, business development, children's education and health services, as well as the knowledge and skills to be able to fully exploit them.

"It is vitally important that, as a nation, we address the need to upskill Australians living in regional, rural and remote communities, ensuring that the digital skills gap between urban and rural Australia is closed."