AUSTRALIA: Cane growers to get taste of new technology first hand

Published: 04/16/2018, 9:59:33 AM

Drones and driver-less tractors will be the centrepiece of a major sugar cane technology conference in Mackay this week, according to Australia's Daily Mercury newspaper.

The Australian Society of Sugarcane Technologists (ASSCT) will host 'Sugar Tuesday' in the 500 pavilion at Mackay Showgrounds Tuesday ahead of their 40th annual conference at Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on Wednesday.

Sugar Tuesday aims to provide a more hands-on look at new and developing technologies with potential application in the sugar cane industry.

ASSCT president Danny Van der Berg said the Sugar Tuesday Agricultural session aims to give growers, industry technicians, and researchers, the latest information on emerging applications and technologies.

"The session will provide attendees with a close look at developing technologies such as drones and autonomous tractors, and an insight into their potential applications in the sugarcane industry," Van der Berg said.

"One of the highlights will be the potential use of drones for cane variety assessment including experimental plot yield and characteristics.

"There'll also be a presentation on driver-less tractors, which will give attendees an insight into how remote farming will soon be very much a part of our agricultural systems."

James Cook University's IoT (Internet of Things) will explore connectivity and linked farming systems as the technological world becomes increasingly interconnected. It will also look at what this interconnectivity and mega data collection might mean for farmers and farming.

"In keeping with the high interest of growers in new farming systems, machinery and equipment, there will be demonstrations of machinery including chopper drums and the soil zipper - which closes the soil over applied chemicals," Van der Berg

"These technologies, tools, practices and applications will drive change across the agricultural landscape."

A manufacturing session aimed at the milling sector will also be held.