THE latest in high-tech innovations, from farming robots to precision earthworks controllers, were on display at this year’s AgTeCH2019 at Emerald in Central Queensland.
Visitors had the opportunity to observe the innovations in action at a special ‘tyre kicking’ demonstration site on the Emerald Agricultural College farm:
Deep placement of nutrients
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has used the benefits of GPS technology to develop high-accuracy placement maps for crop nutrients and a custom-built applicator capable of deep-placing the nutrients to depths of 15-20 centimetres.
The maps communicate with the applicator via the tractor’s guidance system to apply the correct rate and product to the precise location and depth.
WeedSeeker 2 sprayer
SprayerBarn demonstrated the WeedSeeker 2, the next generation of spot spray system from Trimble Agriculture.
The system uses dual light sources – infra-red (IR) and near infra-red (NIR) – to detect weeds by both colour and chlorophyll, reducing herbicide usage by up to 90 per cent.
The spraying operation can be carried out at working speeds up to 25 kilometres/hour.
Central Queensland-based SwarmFarm Robotics demonstrated their lightweight, driverless, SwarmBot machines that can perform a range of farming tasks, 24 hours a day.
The business has delivered seven robots to early-adopter customers and has another 24 set to go out this year.
The University of Southern Queensland is using off-the-shelf DJI Phantom 4 Pro UAVs, in combination with ground control points, to capture paddock imagery and develop highly accurate maps for spraying and other management roles.
The simple, low-cost system using consumer-grade drones and existing rate control technology provides farmers with a ‘market entry’ spot spraying system.
Vanderfield demonstrated a John deere MY2020 R4060 sprayer equipped with a carbon fibre boom, Exact Apply nozzles and A-B nozzle switching.
Using prescription maps supplied from USQ drones, the system utilises individual nozzle by nozzle application to spray the right amount of chemical in the right droplet size to the right spots.
T3RRA Cutta land forming
Connecting Australian-designed land-forming software, T3RRA Cutta, to John Deere’s iGrade controller allows operators to survey, design and implement earthmoving operations from inside the tractor cab.
The progress of the job can be tracked by using the ‘As-applied’ app.
The Dynamic Blade Limit allows the operator to progressively cut or fill to a total depth or height on an individual pass.
Komatsu blade control
Komatsu D61EXi/PXi-23 intelligent Machine Control (iMC) is a fully integrated blade control system that automatically carries out both bulk and final trim dozing.
The original topography can be measured by unmanned aerial vehicles or 3D lase survey scanners.
The state of progress of the excavation work can be confirmed by comparing this initial data with the progressive topographic data.
Livestock management systems
PLF Australia demonstrated a range of sensors that deliver farm monitoring information to a personal computer or mobile phone.
The sensors can measure:
- Water levels
- Water flow
- Walk-over weighing data
- Animal location and movement
- Farm weather station data
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