Smart Farms Tour to illustrate future of agriculture

By: Carene Chong

Presented by

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) will be hosting a Smart Farms Tour next week at its Toowoomba campus, to showcase the centre’s latest agricultural innovations and give attendees a preview of emerging technologies in the industry.

Smart Farms Tour to illustrate future of agriculture
NCEA Director Craig Baillie

The tour will be headed by the university’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) who has been developing innovative solutions for the rural sector for the past 20 years with a focus on sustainable agriculture, energy use, water resources and food security.

Some of the technologies to be demonstrated at the event include:

  • Real time interaction with on-farm data provided by mobile augmented reality
  • Smart weed spot sprayers
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS)
  • Irrigation machines
  • Remote guided tour of an irrigated farm instrumented with on-farm sensors.

NCEA Director Craig Baillie says the centre wishes to provoke thought about what the future holds for the agricultural industry.

"The technologies and concepts on show at the Smart Farms Tour may still be in development and this event gives industry stakeholders a sneak peek," he says.

"We want them to view our progress, understand how agricultural technology might look in the next five to ten years, and also bring in ideas that can build on the work we have done."

Baillie adds the future of agriculture technology is an exciting area of research and development.

"We are already moving into a time where farmers are incorporating technology such as sensors to monitor factors such as crop health, soil, water and nutrients spatially across a field," he says.

"But we want to take that information and create intelligent systems where raw data is analysed, interpreted, priorities and provided to producers automatically."

The event is scheduled to take place on June 27 and is open to anyone interested.

The Smart Farms Tour is part of USQ’s 2014 Digital Rural Futures Conference.

The conference, initiated by the Regional Universities Netwrok (RUN), is an annual national event designed to raise awareness of opportunities and challenges affecting rural and regional Australia.

A key theme that will be addressed at this year's conference is the role of digital technology in advancing country Australia.

The conference will run from June 25 to 27.

For more information or to register to attend any of the seminars and tours, visit the Digital Rural Futures Conference webpage.

Stay tuned for NewFarmMachinery’s coverage of the Smart Farms Tour.

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