The latest in ag-tech and precision ag

27.09.17

Driverless tractors, mobile rainmakers, drones and a seed-drill, which can fold from 24 metres wide to 5.4 metres in less than five minutes – welcome to agriculture of the future!

The industry has been spoilt for ag-tech demonstrations in New South Wales over the past two months with Gunnedah’s AgQuip and the Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD).

Both promoted the latest in technology and innovation, machinery and farm equipment, outdoors and camping products, farm produce, agronomy, country lifestyle, government and health services, agribusiness and finance services.

Just as agricultural technology has come a long way, so too have the field days.

AgQuip began in 1973 and has grown to showcase 3000 companies to more than 100,000 people over three days in August. In line with technology, maps were swapped for apps to guide patrons around the venue.

HMFD was founded as a one-day header school at the Henty showground in 1963 and now boasts 60,000 people visiting its agribusiness supermarket.

‘It’s an exciting time for Australian ag,” said Kate Nugent, Group Manager of Fairfax Rural Events, which runs AgQuip.

“This year’s display included a number of high-tech product demonstrations such as the autonomous tractor and drones.

“We are very aware Australian farmers are early adaptors by their purchases on site, but it is also a reflection that Australian farmers and primary producers are thirsty for more information.”

 

Autonomous tractors created great public interest and for many were the field day highlight, but agricultural enthusiasts also saw:

  • Mobile rainmakers, which are claimed to increase rainfall in rural areas by 10 to 20 percent by utilising high voltage and fine wire on a trailer-mounted array that looks like a large aerial.
  • One of the widest drills on the market with the wings able to be folded from 24m to 5.4m and unfolded in three-and-a-half minutes – making it legal to transport on narrow Australian rural roads with minimum down time.
  • Multi-purpose three-in-one chaser bin, which is a combination of a chaser bin, seed and super grouper and fertiliser spreader.
  • Dam building exhibitions whereby the machines follow a pre-programmed computer model, using GPS technology, to be very precise in moving dirt and directing water where it is needed.
  • Soil mapping to match grain varieties to variations in the soil.
  • Precision farming machinery.
  • And many varieties of drones, which are part of the expansion of unmanned aerial vehicles used in agriculture.

“New technology is so exciting! Drones can soil test for moisture, track stock and not only be cost effective but provide analytical information and drive efficiency,” Ms Nugent said.

“Of the visitors to AgQuip, 32 percent were interested in what is the latest in precision farming.”

Once piece of technology, which no doubt would appeal to future and next generation farmers – the automatic gate opener!