COALA will develop Copernicus-based information service for irrigation and nutrient management for the Australian agricultural systems, starting from the consolidated past experiences of the proposed European partnership, but based on strong collaboration with Academic Australian institutions and business players in the agricultural sector of Australia.

Why Australia

Several strong points make Australia the ideal place for innovative Earth Observation (EO) technologies in the agricultural sector:

  • Copernicus and EO-based services can better support sustainable use of strategic resources and farm management decisions, in tandem informing policy implementation,
  • the advanced level of adoption of new technology (sensors, computers, electronic controllers) by farmers and, agriculture in general, Australia has a highly skilled and innovative farming community
  • the urgent need to match agricultural productivity with environmental concerns
  • the leading position of Australia in EO research and technology and the interest of EO-based business sector in Europe to find synergies within the Australian market.

Operational farming advisory services will be further developed on one hand to include nutrient managements on the other to provide water accounting data from the farm to the district and/or basin scale. COALA will monitor crops development, water and nutrient status, irrigated areas by means of innovative algorithms based on Sentinel Earth Observation data, which will be accessed by means of the new cloud platforms (DIAS) of Copernicus.
In-situ and other source of data will be used to improve the accuracy of the products for the final users, which will be on three different levels:
i) farmers,
ii) irrigation infrastructure operators,
iii) basin authorities.
COALA will demonstrate that Copernicus data and new DIAS infrastructure can greatly improve the availability of information for management decisions on irrigation and nutrient management at all decision levels, from the Water Authority in charge of monitoring the implementation of the basin exploitation plan, to the farm level, passing through the irrigation infrastructure operators, in charge of managing irrigation distribution infrastructures. COALA tools and data will improve the decision making and policy for sustainable use of water and nutrients in multi-functional ecosystems.
Through this project, it will be possible to explore new business opportunities in Australia for the European industry of Earth Observation services.

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