Goondiwindi entrepreneur takes out Innovation in Ag award

Grain Central September 2, 2017

GOONDIWINDI agri-business consultant Jerome Leray has taken out the ‘Innovation in Ag’ award at Queensland Grains Gala Dinner for his groundbreaking weed-targeting technology.

Jerome Leray

“We are using drones to collect high definition images of the paddock. We then identify fallow weeds and create a map farmers can integrate with their variable rate spraying boom,” Mr Leray said.

“Essentially we are turning their every-day spraying tractor into a spot sprayer of sorts so there is no need to buy the expensive spot spraying equipment.”

AgForce Grains president Wayne Newton said Mr Leray’s business InFarm was at the forefront of herbicide technology and he was a deserving winner of the award.

“Mr Leray’s drone to tractor technology defines the zones that need to be sprayed, saving producers up to 80 per cent on their fallow weed herbicide bill and turning their everyday tractor into a weed-targeting machine,” he said.

“Thanks to this technology, producers are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on herbicide costs.

“This is a great innovation because the producer does not need to do anything different apart from plugging in a USB, abolishing the need to buy expensive spot spraying equipment.”

Mr Newton said it was fitting to be celebrating innovation in agriculture in Goondiwindi where so many cropping innovations were born.

“From 50 metre booms to early controlled traffic systems, many good ideas came to fruition around Goondiwindi, and we wanted to ensure the Queensland Grains Gala Dinner acknowledged and celebrated that,” he said.

“The aim of the AgForce Grains Innovation Award is to recognise individuals or organisations for their commitment to enhancing the long-term sustainability and profitability of the grain supply chain, through innovation, technology and development.

“Mr Leray won the award because the measurable outcome for the grain industry are two-fold; chemical savings for the farmer and a reduction in environmental chemical impacts.”

“As the Grains Gala Dinner moves around the grain growing regions of Queensland, it’s important we acknowledge the contribution of key players whose work makes a difference to our bottom line and helps our industry thrive.

“This years’ Service to the Grains Industry award was presented to Michael Castor from MCA Consultants.

AgForce Grains president, Wayne Newton (centre), with Service to the Grains Industry award winner, Michael Castor, and Innovation in Ag award winner, Jerome Leray.

“Mr Castor started out as a one-man band in 1988 and since that time, has built an exemplary agronomic business now employing some 16 consultants, covering a large swath of Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales.”

“He has been described as a visionary who has grown his business in response to grain, fibre and livestock producers’ needs and has a unique ability to muster the forces of intellect and science for the advancement and profitability of our industry.

“Among other things he and his business have helped producers adapt to new and emerging trends and technologies, which have been pivotal to the industry’s ongoing success.”

The Innovation in Ag award was sponsored by John Deere and was open to all producers that have delivered a benefit to the sector through innovation.

Source: Agforce. Read more about Mr Leray’s drone based solutions in this earlier Grain Central article: 400M conference: Innovation generation unveils cropping solutions of the future


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  1. John Cameron, September 4, 2017

    Great to see Mick Castor receiving industry recognition for the enormous impact he has had in so many ways across the farming landscape of NNSW and SQLD. Very few people have had the imagination, understanding of both farming systems and the people who implement them, and the determination and care for the industry to affect the level of practice change that Mick has achieved! Happy as a ‘pig in it’ to see Mick get this award!

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