Aussie agtech startup aims to help graziers

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Aussie agtech startup aims to help graziers

Maia Technology is preparing to launch an application that will help farms better manage their grazing land.

Agricultural tech company Maia Technology will launch its first product, MaiaGrazing, at the University of New England's SMART (sustainable manageable accessible rural technologies) farm in Armidale on 20 April.

MaiaGrazing will combine data from rainfall, animal and pasture growth models, and a farm's own management systems to provide a picture of future grazing capability.

MaiaGrazing uses a set of algorithms to project the future position of a property based on a range of factors, including paddock history, stocking levels and structure, grazing patterns and rainfall. It effectively learns how each individual paddock performs under different conditions, and how the property converts rainfall into pasture into live weight gains.

The software runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud service and is accessed via a web browser or mobile apps for iOS and Android. The apps can work in an offline mode, automatically synchronising with the server when they reconnect to a network.

MaiaGrazing is already being used as part of the curriculum at UNE SMART Farm, and by Durham Ranch in the US to manage approximately 3,000 bison over 55,000 acres (approximately 22260 hectares). It has also been tested by expert graziers around Australia for the past 18 months.

"We wanted to be able to track our beef from genetics/breeding right through to the steak on the supermarket shelf, and of course a big part of this is grazing and pasture management - and thus MaiaGrazing was born as the first step in this process," said Maia Technology co-chairman Alasdair McLeod.

"Livestock profitability comes from being able to carry the right amount of stock at any given time to get the best out of your pastures for the conditions you are experiencing," said CEO Peter Richardson.

"That's the core function of MaiaGrazing – to ensure the manager has the knowledge to recalibrate how many mouths they have, according to the feed they have ahead of them and the market they are targeting. It puts them in the best position to consistently and reliably produce stock in the best condition, into the best market environment."

"And when conditions go pear-shaped, which is often in Australia, MaiaGrazing allows the manager to navigate through those tough seasons without the stress. It takes the emotion out of hard decisions, particularly selling stock."

The company wants to make MaiaGrazing a platform for other agtech providers to provide an integrated approach to grazing management.

"We recognise the power of the data we are collecting from livestock producers, but rather than assume we have all the answers to their many and varied needs and problems, we want to bring together other agtech providers and products so that together, we can provide a one-stop solution for grazing management, instead of producers buying into lots of different widgets and systems," said Richardson.

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