Thomas Tadrowski & Bernard Fitzpatrick
Hatch Program 2021
13 Nov 2021
In recent years, the demand for precision farming in grain-growing regions of Australia
has increased rapidly. With many farmers keen to increase efficiency through machinery guidance systems, Thomas from Western Australia and Bernard from Queensland started to explore the idea of "democratising" precision farming technology implementation.
Thomas has a background in mapping, measurement, and precision farming, with formal qualifications in surveying, remote sensing and photogrammetric engineering. Bernard is a geographer with a background in remote sensing and spatial analysis. They applied to the Hatch program to validate their business idea and gain a deeper understanding of farming goals concerning machinery operations.
Validating the Idea
Thomas and Bernard's concept is to use GIS and auto-steering technology integrated with hardware/software to develop precision guidance techniques focused on farm use.
They spent a substantial part of the program interviewing potential customers, validating their business idea, applying learnings, and identifying pivot points for implementation.
The key insight for them was discussing primary producers' pain points, which revealed a gap in the market and a real commercial opportunity. Through the Lean Start-up methodology, they distinguished between producers who utilise machinery from conglomerates and others who do not. They learned that these other primary producers are looking for auto-steer retrofit systems to upgrade farm machinery and cultivate crops with better watch and without fatigue.
One of the critical challenges for them remains to provide local support to the producers. They plan to offer a package of workshops, including capability exploration, education around implementing and adopting tools and technology.
The Hatch program is an excellent program run by experienced facilitators and mentors, that teaches you how to test and then teach yourself to bring your idea to fruition.
▪ Design the Minimum Viable Product of their idea
▪ Connect with 2-3 'benevolent' farmers for future testing
▪ Attract the interest of a minimum of 20-grain producers for precision auto-steering systems
▪ Develop Precision Ag workshop content and schedule
▪ Network and establish greater awareness of their technology implementation for agronomic solutions