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Roesner and Swarmfarm’s high-tech collaboration

Zach RelphCountryman
Roesner technical director Matt Roesner with a Marshall Multispread.
Camera IconRoesner technical director Matt Roesner with a Marshall Multispread. Credit: Bob Garnant

A longstanding South West family business has spruiked its bid to develop a fully autonomous fertiliser spreader, after striking a deal with one of Australia’s trailblazing ag-tech companies.

Harvey-based Roesner and SwarmFarm Robotics, founded in Queensland, last month signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the unit, designed to target precision fertiliser application.

The two companies will work to integrate Roesner’s flagship Marshall Multispread fertiliser spreader and its i4M variable rate control system with SwarmFarm’s autonomous platform.

Roesner technical director Matt Roesner told Countryman the touted fertiliser spreading unit would benefit farmers struggling to meet labour demands.

“Instead of wide spread patterns at a heavier rate, we can do narrow-spread patterns more precisely at a more controlled rate — it is a more efficient fertiliser application,” Mr Roesner said.

“Initially, the target market will be larger broadacre farmers who have vast areas that they need to cover.

“There is potential for applications across the entire agricultural sector because we know how hard it can be to get labour and the squeeze on input costs.”

Roesner and SwarmFarm aim to develop a functioning unit within six months.

However, its commercial release date has not been confirmed.

SwarmFarm’s SwarmBot platform can autonomously spray and mow paddocks and was showcased at this year’s TECHSPO at Katanning.

Mr Bate said the agreement with Roesner would benefit farmers’ crop decisions, variable rate applications and autonomous farming.

“We have already commercially released, multiple applications ranging from optical spot spraying of weeds, blanket spraying and mowing apps on board the SwarmBot platform,” he said.

“These are fully autonomous and unmanned field operations working on commercial farms.

“Variable rate spreading of agricultural inputs is the most utilized form of precision agriculture around the world.

“The partnership with Roesner Pty Ltd was a logical step to close the link between spreading operations and autonomous agriculture.”

Roesner is a family-owned company founded in Harvey in 1900 by Mr Roesner’s great-grandfather Arthur Roesner.

SwarmFarm was founded in 2012 and manufactures autonomous robots in an effort to help farmers implement new technology into farming systems.

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