Measuring the worth of rural properties

By Kate Langford

18 January 2019

2 minute read

Screen capture from the rural Intelligence Platform showing a property and its different land uses, e.g. cropping and grazing in different colours

The Rural Intelligence Platform has advanced AI, machine learning and geospatial capabilities that detect agricultural land use.

If you’re looking to get a loan to renovate or buy a property in the city, the financial institution you approach is likely to first turn to a valuation model to see what your place is worth. Next they’ll run a few checks on you. And before long you’ll know whether or not you’ve got the finance to go ahead.

But if you’re a farmer looking to sell or applying for a loan to invest in your property, the process is unlikely to be as quick or as easy.

Up until now, rural investment decisions have generally been extremely time consuming, with lenders struggling to gather the information they need to accurately assess risk. And much of the information they do rely on, is based on best guesses and a lack of comparability with other properties.

Now there’s a new kid in town. Actually it’s in that virtual town we call the cloud and it’s got a barnyard full of data.

Central intelligence

The Rural Intelligence PlatformTM was launched by Digital Agriculture Services, a start-up company built using technology we developed, this week.

The platform allows you to zoom in on agricultural land anywhere in Australia and for the first time see a whole bunch of information about a property in the same place at the same time. This means that most of the information on the characteristics of a property needed to make an investment decision is displayed almost instantaneously. Anything from soil type to average annual rainfall, the nearest water supply, whether land is being used for crops or grazing or something else and data on past yields. The platform includes analytics on different land attributes, including productivity, crop type, carrying capacity, climate and more. It even calculates the flood, frost and bushfire risk of the property – along with drought status.

The data comes from a wide range of trusted sources, including databases and models that our scientists have been working on for many years, some of which had fairly limited use in the past due to their complexity or clunky interfaces.

All your eggs in one basket

Now, with the added advantage of satellite technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud-based geospatial technology we’ve been able to create a unique asset for Australian agriculture together with Digital Agriculture Services.

The Rural Intelligence PlatformTM incorporates multiple new machine learning and data fusion models, including an industry-first, rural-specific Automated Valuation Model (AVM) which can be used to access faster, much more accurate data to value agricultural properties.

Having robust farm data readily available will lead to better decision making by farmers, businesses, policy makers and anyone investing in agriculture in Australia, helping to build resilience and future-proof Australian farms.