The Robots Drones & Sensors; Future Farming Masterclasses at the BFVG Agri-Hub were a real hit at Agrotrend this year. If you missed it, never mind because we recorded each presentation and have posted these on our website – WATCH NOW!
Throughout the two days of Agrotrend, scientists, researchers and innovative ag-business people presented and demonstrated robotic, drone and sensor technology applications for farming systems. More than 1,500 people visited the hub, with 424 people actually participating in a masterclass. Masterclasses were delivered every hour, and included demonstrations of a SwarmBot robot and “Harvey” a Robotic Capsicum Harvester. Other presentations and exhibits included RapidAIM sensors, drones for use in vertebrate pest management and weed control, precision-ag smartphone hacks, and a pop-up MakerSpace.
The event was an initiative of Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ (BFVG) VegNET project and CQUniversity, funded by the Queensland Government’s Engaging Science program. It involved participation from the CSIRO, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Community Lifestyle Systems (CLS), LESS Industries, Aerobugs Pty Ltd, and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Students studying at CQUniversity volunteered their time at Robots Drones & Sensors to assist BFVG in coordinating the event. They conducted important evaluation of the masterclasses, interviewing fifty two (52) people throughout the two days.
The evaluation identified that 27% of participants were growers of a horticulture commodity, and that an additional 15% of participants were a primary producer from an other industry (cane, beef, cropping, for example). The results of the survey further identified that while 50% of participants interviewed did not identify as a primary producer, more than half of those worked in agriculture.
The evaluation additionally aimed to capture data about the current use of technology on-farm and if the information in the masterclasses could be effective in encouraging further uptake of available technology. This question was directed only at respondents that identified as a ‘grower’ and/or a ‘primary producer’. The results of this were as follows;
- More than 10% percent stated that they were already using the technology on-farm.
- Nearly a quarter said that they were still uncertain about the use of the technology on farm.
- More than 50% indicated that as a result of the masterclasses, they would consider investigating the use of the technology on their own farms.
Eighty seven (87) percent of respondents scored the event as being “highly” and “very” interesting, informative and enjoyable.
All masterclasses were filmed and are available on the BFVG website – TAKE ME THERE! For further information about Robots Drones & Sensors or to be advised when the videos are posted online, email BFVG.
Source & Acknowledgements: Post written by Michelle Haase – Vegetable Industry Development Officer (VegNET) with Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers – www.bfvg.com.au. Funding for the VegNET National Vegetable Extension Network program is from Hort Innovation with vegetable grower levies and funding by the Australian Government.