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The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing RD&E to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry.


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Boyd Carter

Nuffield Australia 2018 Scholar

Boyd Carter from Wubin in Western Australia receives a scholarship supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Boyd’s area of study will focus on the ‘robotic revolution’ and what growers can do to prepare for increased autonomous technology on-farm. He also aims to write a ‘how-to’ manual to help farmers incorporate this technology into their management practices. Boyd believes the only way to keep up with increased Asian demand for food production is to maximise outputs and adopting new technologies will help achieve this.

Boyd co-manages 12,000 hectares of owned and leased land in the eastern central wheatbelt of WA which operates as a grain and sheep enterprise. The property comprises 9700ha cropping with a flock of 3000-4000 merino and cross bred sheep.

With such large-scale broadacre cropping, Boyd aims to apply the findings of his research into robotic technology to his own business.

“I’m working towards preserving the image of the farming industry as a constantly improving enterprise by keeping up with technology. I believe creating a guide for farmers on how to transition to robotic technology will help to keep Australian agriculture ahead of the curve,” he said.

During his study, Boyd will research other industries’ technology to see if it can be applied to agriculture. He hopes to travel to Canada, North America, Japan, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands to see homemade driverless tractors, visit machinery companies and machinery hubs, and to investigate the environmental and social impacts of robotic technology.

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