Agtech leading the way in western Queensland

On Friday, 4 October 2019, 86 producers and industry service providers gathered at “Brunners”, Gydia Park’s Outstation 45 km west of Isisford, to ‘See the future of grazing using Technology and Tools in Agriculture…’ at the Desert Channels Queensland and E-Beef Field Day. Producers that attended the day were predominately from the Isisford, Yaraka and Blackall areas, however there were a number of producers that travelled from further distances to be notified of these up-and-coming innovations.

Presentation topics at the Brunners’ E-Beef Field Day highlighted new technologies available to producers for the future of grazing enterprises. The main attraction of the day was Gydia Park producer, Dick Cribb’s newly installed Walk-Over-Weigh (WOW) unit as part of the E-Beef Project. The WOW unit monitors cattle weights and along with NDVI, NIRS and pasture monitoring data, aims to assist producers in the project with making informative management decisions.

The main purpose of the day was to inform producers and industry personnel of the new technologies that can be incorporated within future grazing enterprises, as a means of improving production. Other producers in the area will be able to become ‘Innovation Hub’ members, linked to the “Gydia Park” Smart Farm to connect the findings from the Smart Farm to their own grazing situation. These members will be able to access the Smart Farm’s cattle liveweight data and pasture and ground-cover satellite data for each of their own properties to create a more informed understanding of the relationship between current pasture levels and cattle condition. Each landholder will also be able to access Agrihive’s ‘Farmecco’ business analysis software to explore the impact of management decisions on each business’ profitability.

Presenters addressed topics relevant to practical and technical tools, technologies and updates currently available producers to assist them in addressing areas of concern to production in the area.

Presentations that were heard by attendees regarded:

  • E-Beef Smart Farm Project and Innovation Hub (Kate Paterson, Desert Channels Queensland, 0427 427 969)
  • NDVI & Satellite Pasture Monitoring Tools (Andrew Burrows, Desert Channels Queensland, 0427 427 966)
  • Vegetation Management Act & Gidyea Clearing (Leigh Deutscher, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy)
  • Walk-Over-Weigh Systems (Gregg Blatchley, Tru-Test/DataMars, 0428 137 836)
  • AgForce Update (Vol Norris, Agforce, 0488 002 038 )
  • FarmECCO Financial Analysis Software (James Walker, Agrihive, 0428 583 336)
  • Remote Water Monitoring Technology (Michael Atkins, Farmbot, 0407 770 666)
  • Rural Drone Utilisation (Doug Allpass, 0427 427 090)
  • Livestock Nutrition and Supplementation (Desiree Jackson, Desiree Jackson Livestock Management, 0409 0626 92)
  • Pasture Identification and Grazing Management (Jenny Milson, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 0427 493 464)

Special thanks go to Dick Cribb for allowing the field day to be held at “Brunners”, to the presenters for travelling to and speaking at the event and to Kate Paterson of DCQ for co-ordinating the successful event. A special mention must also go to the Isisford State School P & C Committee for their wonderful catering for the day.

E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland is a partnership project between Southern Gulf NRM, Northern Gulf Natural Resource Management Group, Desert Channels and Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The project is funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Smart Farming Partnerships Program, a component of the National Landcare Program. The aim of the project is to work with grazing businesses to demonstrate innovative technologies that can improve grazing profitability.