AUSTRALIAN precision agriculture expert Professor David Lamb is calling on Victoria’s farmers to have their say about on-farm technology at the 2016 AgriVictoria – State of Opportunity Summit on Thursday, June 9 in Melbourne.
Professor Lamb warns that while the current focus on blue-sky ‘big data’ development is important for the future of Australian agriculture, it could leave farmers in the dark when it comes to the practical, simple, effective technologies that are available to make farming easier and more efficient.
Commenting on his role as chair of the ‘Smarter Farming: Investing in Your Future’ panel at the summit, Prof Lamb, who leads the University of New England’s SMART Farm project, said he wants to be challenged by the audience.
“We want to hear what farmers need so we can help to identify the technologies that will work for them.
“There are simple technologies available to make farming easier from assessing pastures and monitoring water trough levels to supply chain management.
“But I’m concerned these tools get lost in the noise around blue-sky technologies and big data.
“We need farm technology to be sustainable, manageable, practical and readily accessible.”
Panel member Emma Germano, who is the general manager of her family’s horticulture business ‘I Love Farms’, Mirboo North, will provide a compelling case study for how simple ‘app-riculture’ technologies can revolutionise the paddock to plate process.
For example, Emma uses the smartphone app ‘Whatsapp’ to lock in export orders with international clients, the moon calendar app for predicting harvest timings and social media networks for finding staff to pick the produce and market it to consumers.
“It’s understandable that farmers might feel intimated by all the new technology available, but once you know what you need and how to use it, you’ll wonder how you ever worked without it,” Emma said.
Victorian horticulture farmer Andrew Bulmer, managing director of Bulmer Farms, will also discuss his operation and together with Emma will outline how they believe their investments in technology and process innovation have contributed to their ability to tap into Asian export opportunities whilst also helping them grow their business locally.
Their case studies along with Prof Lamb’s expertise around smart farming practices will provide delegates with information about what to look for, what not to do and how to avoid pitfalls along the journey.
To learn more about the panel and other speakers at the Summit, visit http://www.agrivictoria.com.au/speakers.html
This session is one of four on the AgriVictoria program that focuses on innovation, investment opportunities and technology in the agriculture industry and which can be viewed in detail here: http://www.agrivictoria.com.au/program.html
Launched last year to deliver a premium, outcomes-focused agribusiness event for Victoria’s agricultural sector, AgriVictoria is the brainchild of a partnership between the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), ANZ and PwC.
The summit will be followed by the premier event on the Victorian agriculture social calendar, Agriculture: The Heart of Victoria gala dinner.
Tickets to both events can be purchased from the following ticketing websites for each event:
• AgriVictoria – State of Opportunity Summit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/agrivictoria-stateof-opportunity-summit-2016-tickets-21544156151
• Agriculture: The Heart of Victoria Gala Dinner: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/agriculture-theheart-of-victoria-2016-tickets-21539045866
How technology can change your farm