CWFS hosted a two day Precision Agriculture Seminar on 28 and 29 June 2017 at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, showcasing new technologies available within the region for both precision livestock and cropping management.
As well, attendees of the event were the first group of producers to observe the Centre for Robotics’ (from the University of Sydney) livestock based SwagBot robot and provide feedback for further development of the project.
Salah Sukkarieh (head of the project) said they wanted to know what producers needs were for this robot, so they can create programs and algorithms to match requirements.
“We can easily teach it to follow tracks and follow fence lines but we feel pasture monitoring and weed control will play a large role in future applications.” He said.
After a demonstration of the robot taking soil samples and spraying weeds, attendees voiced opinions on other uses they could envisage for the SwagBot. Livestock monitoring for health was a main point of interest.
Luciano Gonzalez, also from the University of Sydney held a presentation on another project currently underway involving automated cattle and sheep walk through systems
Local business StockPro had some Te Pari sheep handlers on display and Rick Dietrich gave a presentation on the devices. Drones, precision spreading machinery parts and more were also on display.
Other presenters from the wider local area included Adrian Roles from JMAJ Precision, who educated the crowd on big data and ownership rights; Eva Moffitt from Precision Agriculture on paddock mapping and soil truthing leading to precise applications of nutrients and lime; David McGavin from Precision Seeding Solutions on precision sowing equipment for airseeders; Richard Apps from MLA on the new x-ray meat processing technology abbreviated as DEXA; Bob Wythes from Australian Custom Harvesters on correct set up and maintenance of headers for accurate data collection; Lexi Cesnik from Moses and Son on precision sheep management and Tim Gole from Western River Veterinary Group on precision cattle management.
Nearly 100 people attended over the two days and feedback was extremely positive from both presenters and attendees. The event was covered by ABC Rural with numerous interviews conducted. For those who couldn’t attend, CWFS will provide videos of many of the presentations on our YouTube site.
CWFS would also like to thank the sponsors of the event; MLA, Sheep Connect and Evolution Mining.