WORKERS were installing some of the latest agriculture technology at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) Katanning Research Facility last week, to be displayed during the Southern Dirt TECHSPO on August 7-8.
DPIRD has partnered with the Southern Dirt grower group in this year's biannual event, to be held across two locations including the Wagin Showgrounds and the Katanning site.
Last week contractors were installing solar powered weather gathering systems, water pump and trough monitors, as well as connectivity systems at the DIPRD facility to showcase market options for producers to improve farm productivity and efficiency.
DPIRD research officer John Paul Collins said TECHSPO will offer livestock producers valuable first hand information about the latest systems on the market and they will be able to interact with the technology as a way to "try before they buy".
"TECHSPO will offer farmers the opportunity to come and have a look at sensors and how the information is presented," Mr Collins said.
"There will also be technical advisors on hand to answer any questions and help with connectivity requirements."
Mr Collins said DPIRD was happy to be involved with TECHSPO this year, especially with hosting some of the latest innovations and initiatives to support the advancement and adoption of agricultural technology in WA.
DPIRD research, development and innovation managing director Mark Sweetingham said the event provided a unique opportunity for farmers, developers and department staff to come together to discuss how ag-tech products and networks could be advanced to generate improved productivity and profitability.
"Ag-tech is the new frontier for agricultural improvements, from the research laboratory, to the paddock, through the value chain and in the farm office," Dr Sweetingham said.
"It is important for government, industry and the community to work together to continue to develop innovations in ag-tech so our primary industries can remain internationally competitive in an increasingly complex and dynamic global marketplace."
TECHSPO will feature other public and private sector ag-tech exhibitors, speakers and providers.
Day one of the conference and exhibition at the Wagin Showgrounds will feature a range of department ag-tech investments in grains, livestock and farm management.
Broadacre farmers will be able to learn more about the department's recent improvements to the Pastures from Space service, which now features an interactive, zoom-in function to get a closer analysis of feed on offer and pasture growth rates.
Livestock producers can also learn how to get the most out of the updated Sheep Condition Scoring app, to aid feed budgeting and flock management.
Grain growers will be able to see the department's work on new moth traps to survey caterpillar pests and sticky traps to identify aphid flights.
DPIRD will also have a display of its long range/low power wide area network (LoRaWAN) dashboard, to demonstrate a range of Internet of Things applications, including a water flow meter and sensors for temperature, water tank and silo levels and wire gates.
Visitors will be able to wander along Start-up Alley, where emerging ag-tech companies will show off their innovations, such as drones, big-data analysis, livestock tracking and remote sensing.
Research officer Kim Brooksbank will discuss the use of agricultural waste streams.
Day two of TECHSPO will be at the DPIRD Katanning site where four commercial network providers have been engaged to demonstrate how various network options could be used for monitoring and surveillance, including weather stations, moisture probes, GPS tracking and sensors.