SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Grain Trade Australia (GTA) will lead discussions with key grain industry specialists to draft a standard and supporting framework for the national adoption of digital image recognition technology for grain quality.

The Australian grain industry is moving ahead with a plan to capture the benefits and emerging opportunities created by digital image recognition technology, which involves the use of digital images to assess grain quality attributes and defects in samples of grain. After drafting a standard, the next step will be a pilot program to test the process.

“Advancements in the accuracy of digital image recognition technology have enormous potential to improve the speed, accuracy and consistency of grain quality testing,” said Pat O’Shannassy, chief executive officer of GTA. “Having consistency across the various grain supply chains is important for all stakeholders and the facilitation of trade.”

Existing processes for some grain quality tests rely on visual examination or other testing methods and have remained the same for many years. Adoption of new technology across the industry requires development of a standard and an accepted process to ensure the consistency and accuracy of new equipment before it comes on the market.  

Researchers and technology providers are eager for the industry to adopt digital image recognition technology. However, there is currently no standard and implementation framework to support its acceptance and use across the grain industry.

“Grain Trade Australia is proposing an industry standard and supporting framework to enable the digital assessment and transformation of quality and phytosanitary components of the Australian grain testing and certification processes — for domestic and export grain,” O’Shannassy said. “The standard will enable both government and commercial companies to adopt a uniform system for assessing, approving and maintaining emerging digital imagery grain assessment technology.”

GTA was formed in 1991 to formalize commodity trading standards, develop and publish the trade rules and standardize grain contracts across the Australian grain industry. GTA helps to ensure the efficient facilitation of commercial activities across the grain supply chain.