Innovative farm technology was on show at the recent Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System Field Day, giving Bundaberg growers an insight into the latest technology and practices available in the industry.
The event was hosted by Macadamias Australia in collaboration with CQU’s Hinkler AgTech Initiative, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Ltd, RDO Equipment and VNET Precision Farming on Wednesday 30 November.
More than 20 local farmers attended the field day where they received a demonstration of the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control System™, an add-on kit for air blast sprayers that delivers precision spraying, data capture and analytics to growers of tree fruits and nuts, wine grapes, and nurseries.
Hinkler AgTech Initiative Research Officer Karli Groves said it was great to get involved with local growers and share first-hand how technological advances could be utilised in agriculture.
“Initiatives such as this help to put Bundaberg at the forefront of AgTech utilisation,” Karli said.
“The collaborative event connected locals with providers of emerging agricultural technologies and services that are transforming the landscape of Queensland agribusiness.
“Meeting with growers provides a visible connection point for businesses interested in trialling new products in the region and fosters an environment that supports AgTech adoption and implementation.”
Karli said the Smart Apply System™ was just one example of how transitioning digital technology is a positive change that presents an opportunity for growth and enhanced competitiveness.
Attendees were provided with actionable information including costings, performance data, indicative return on investment and product comparisons.
“AgTech is all about helping improve efficiency and profitability by adapting and responding to the challenges of the day,” Karli said.
“This Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) based section control system detects the crop's unique architecture to spray what each plant or tree needs. No more. No less.
“Initial testing on recently established Macadamia plantations has shown a 75 per cent application saving, decreasing as trees mature to full canopy closure.
“It is exciting to share the positive impacts that adoption of precision agriculture technology can have.”
The Hinkler AgTech Initiative is funded through the Hinkler Regional Deal. The Hinkler Regional Deal is a collaboration between the Australian Government, Bundaberg Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council.