Farms of the Future Grant Program - Frequently Asked Questions
About the Grant Program
These frequently asked questions provide summary information only.
For more information about the Farms of the Future grant program, including key dates, eligibility and assessment criteria, see:Farms of the Future Grant Guidelines (PDF 11.73MB)
The Farms of the Future program supports primary producers to adopt commercially available Agtech as well as on-farm connectivity solutions that underpin this technology. The Grants program is one part of the assistance available to primary producers. The full program includes:
- training for farmers to build their technology skills
- options to manage the risk of purchasing technology through:
- the primary producer grants described here, that reduce the financial costs of technology
- improving the accessibility and quality of market information available about Agtech and connectivity solutions
- creating strong support and advisory networks with staff located in key regions.
The overall objective is to support primary producers to realise the known benefits available from connectivity and Agtech, such as boosting productivity, increased competitiveness, improved workplace safety and more sustainable use of resources.
The $48 million Farms of the Future program is part of the Regional Digital Connectivity program which is funded from the Department of Regional NSW and the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund.
The program is delivered and administered through the Department of Primary Industries.
The primary criteria for identifying the program locations were:
- Gross Value of Production (GVP) for the four priority sectors
- Number of farming businesses for the four priority sectors: Cotton, Livestock (sheep and beef), Grains and horticulture (tree crops and vines).
The secondary criteria included:
- Known smart farm activity
- Presence of low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) infrastructure
- The similarity of LGAs that adjoin.
The purpose of this analysis was to ensure the prioritised pilot locations have sufficient farm numbers, production levels, and other key requirements to support a program of this nature.
All ANZSIC agricultural sectors in the eligible LGAs are covered, apart from Fisheries and aquaculture.
The grant is a reimbursement rather than a co-contribution.
Before submitting your application, you will need to complete the Farms of the Future Training Program and develop your AgTech Plan (incorporating a Monitoring Plan and a Tech List).
Once your application is approved, you may purchase the Agtech specified in your AgTech Plan and have it installed at your primary industry enterprise.
You can then make a claim and receive 70% of that cost back (maximum $35,000), provided you have complied with all the criteria in the Guidelines.
For example, an approved grower makes an eligible purchase of AgTech for $50,000 (ex GST) and will receive $35,000.
A Tech List is the selected Agtech devices and/or connectivity solutions you will develop during your Farms of the Future Training Program, and these will be selected from the Agtech Catalogue website.
Yes. A grower can apply for more than one grant if they have more than one eligible business (with different ABNs) within the dedicated LGAs.
No. A grain trading business does not qualify as an eligible sector in the ANSZIC codes supporting the guidelines.
Yes. You can only apply for the grant for the property in the eligible LGA.
- you had already submitted an application and been approved as an eligible applicant before purchasing the weather station; and
- the weather station is as specified in your Agtech Plan and you selected it using the Agtech Catalogue.
An applicant will receive a different case number for their Farms of the Future grant application, however they will use the same BP number.
Applicants should note that past financial assistance under this program or any other program is not a reliable indicator of eligibility for future financial assistance under this program.
About the Agtech Catalogue
The Farms of the Future Agtech Catalogue website lists the eligible Agtech devices, connectivity solutions and integration products that can be purchased as part of the grant. Applicants cannot purchase different Agtech devices or use different suppliers.
No. Applicants can only utilise the goods and services of approved suppliers listed in the Agtech Catalogue website.
Agtech or an Ag IoT device means any device sold for use in agriculture that has a sensor attached to it or embedded within it to enable the measurement and transmission of data over a communications network. Automation is not included.
About the Training Program
Yes, eligible growers can access both in person and online deliveries of the training program. Non-eligible growers can only access the course online.
The online delivery of the training program takes two hours. However, growers must anticipate additional hours to complete the subsequent monitoring plan.
Growers will be able to encompass operational pain points, farm mapping, a landscape assessment and connectivity availability practices. The training program will act as a tool to assist in the selection of on-farm Agtech devices and the creation of an Agtech Plan which can be used as part of a whole farm plan or support a grant application.
Please visit the Farms of the Future webpage for dates and times of upcoming training.
No, but you will need to provide an Agtech Plan for each grant application you make.
A plan that outlines what is going to be monitored across the business farming enterprise.
As a product of the Farms of the Future training program, it will encompass operational pain points, farm mapping, a landscape assessment and connectivity availability. It will act as a tool to assist in the selection of on-farm Agtech devices and the creation of an Agtech Plan which can be used as part of a whole farm plan or support a grant application.
Farms of the Future Assessment Officers will review monitoring plans and provide the necessary feedback.
Eligible applicants whose Agtech Plans are not accepted will have the opportunity to work with the team to help develop an acceptable Agtech Plan.
Support to develop the AgTech monitoring plan is available through:
- The Farms of the Future training program.
- The Agtech Calatalogue, which is a self-guided resource for farmers to choose their Agtech, liaise with suppliers and purchase their required devices.
- Primary producers can contact suppliers they are interested in or have chosen to provide AgTech products.
- The Farms of the Future team is available for advice and further support.
Yes, you should still apply. The grant can assist with funds to help you establish connectivity.
Yes, you should still apply. Phone service is not an accurate indication of connectivity on your farm for Ag IoT solutions.
Ineligible growers can still attend a free, online training program.
Please visit the Farms of the Future webpage for further information on the training.