A SOLD out crowd of farmers filled the Mungindi hall last week proving agriculture technology has strong grass roots interest and support.
Mungindi AgTech18 aimed to replicate the success of the Emerald, Qld event, held last year, by showcasing agricultural technology specifically relevant to farmers.
Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC), Liz Alexander, said the concept was borne out of frustration following attending a city based event.
“It was evident they weren’t in touch with what was going on in the regions and at the grassroots,” she said.
Click here to see who was there
“Looking at the audience today, you can see that people want to be informed about technology, they are already adopting technology and are looking for what is coming next.”
Mungindi AgTech was a joint venture between the CHDC, Grain Growers Limited and the Mungindi Cropping Group.
Speaking at the event, microwave researchers, Melbourne University, senior lecturer, Dr Graham Brodie said farmers were in a strong position to benefit from new technologies.
"There are a couple of new innovations that are worthwhile, the whole idea of automation and capturing data on a grand scale is important,” he said.
Panellist and Autonomous robot manufacturer, Swarm Farm, business manager, Neville Crook said agricultural technology businesses could survive and thrive in rural locations.
"If technology is based in a city, it's not going to go anywhere," he said.
"The great disconnect we have in Australia at the moment, is between the research and something a farmer can go and use.
"Every farmer has at least three good ideas in the back of their shed.
"We need to be in the rural areas if we are going to develop things for rural people."
Panelist, Jerome Leroy from In-Farm agreed, saying Goondiwindi Qld was the agricultural technology capital of Australia.
“If you look at the numbers of innovations that have come from the farmers and people based there, its pretty amazing,” he said.
Beefwood Farms, manager, Glen Coughlin spoke to the audience about the challenges of developing and using technologies on-farm.
He said challenges they faced included getting support from overseas based technology developers.
“It wasn’t until the engineers came out on the farm and started working directly with us that they could understand how to go forward for our applications.”
Organiser and Grain Growers Limited, regional manager, Susan McDonnell said AgTech will run annually, alternating event locations between Emerald, Qld and Mungindi.