Innovation front and centre at field days

Innovation front and centre at field days


On Farm
Dalby Rural Supplies director and senior agronomist Andrew Johnston, with the WEEDit camera sprayer.

Dalby Rural Supplies director and senior agronomist Andrew Johnston, with the WEEDit camera sprayer.

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There was plenty to see around the grounds at CRT FarmFest.

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It’s no secret CRT FarmFest has been bringing together the biggest names and innovations in the agricultural industry for decades.

The 2018 event was no exception, with close to 65,000 attendees strolling the grounds at Kingsthorpe Park, on the outskirts of Toowoomba, during the three days. 

Dalby Rural Supplies director and senior agronomist Andrew Johnston was kept busy with inquiries about the WEEDit camera sprayer. 

Mr Johnston had a 12-metre Rasmussen bar with 13 WEEDit sensors on display.

He said the WEEDit required minimal calibration and could be fitted on bars up to 24 metres on a linkage system or up to 36m on a trailer boom.

“It detects weeds in a paddock and only sprays the weed. So instead of spraying 100 per cent of the paddock, we can actually reduce inputs now by up to 95pc,” he said.

“It has five lenses on the camera with a near infrared light that runs along; when that infrared light actually hits a weed, it relays back to the camera, the camera then relays to the nozzle and it detects the size of the weed.

“And it will spray the weed and nothing else, therefore reducing inputs of herbicides into the paddock. It’s better for the environment and very good for weed resistance.”

Over the past two years Dalby Rural Supplies has distributed up to 30 machines into the Darling Downs and south west Queensland.

“We’ve always had these ideas on how we could actually identify and minimise the amount of product that goes on paddocks but this machine now is state of the art,” Mr Johnston said.

“It’s really good technology that has started to take off.”

Janke managing director Michael Pearson, Dalby, aquired the company in March 2017, and has been busy re-designing the product line.

Janke managing director Michael Pearson, Dalby, aquired the company in March 2017, and has been busy re-designing the product line.

94-year-old agricultural manufacturing company Janke was a familiar name at FarmFest and although they couldn’t display their new product, there was still plenty of interest. 

Janke managing director Michael Pearson, Dalby, acquired the company in March 2017 and is its third owner.

“Since March, I’ve spent 12 months designing and re-engineering the Janke product line and bringing back the customer base and dealer network,” he said.

Mr Pearson has filed patents and is in the process of introducing a new parallelogram system that will change the use of machinery.

He said farmers would potentially only need one machine instead of multiple devices for their operations.

Janke is currently building an 18-metre bar that will be fitted with the new parallelogram system.

Fairfax Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent.

Fairfax Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent.

There was a 15pc increase in exhibitors from the year before, according to Fairfax Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent.

“As the exhibitors were arriving, there was a sense of optimism, with the hope that we would see sales and most definitely strong leads, given the dry conditions,” she said.

“Over the past three days, reports coming in from exhibitors have been really encouraging because of the sales that have been made.”

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