“Network-centric farming” and “cutting edge” was how the Governor of New South Wales described the University of New England’s SMART Farm during his visit last week Friday.
Referencing his military past His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) likened operations at the SMART Farm to network-centric warfare where interconnected communication networks provide instant information which is used to achieve optimal utilisation of resources and better synchronisation of events and their consequences.
It is an apt description of the SMART Farm, where new and existing technologies are combined in innovative ways to address current challenges in agriculture, horticulture, and natural resources management.
The Governor and Mrs Hurley, accompanied by Professor Annabelle Duncan and UNE Chancellor James Harris, viewed demonstrations on virtual fencing allowing for flexible control of livestock distribution; wild dog sensing and control technology; weather stations and pasture growth tools; as well as automated and remote temperature sensing, and weight and image analysis technology for sheep.
“This is a research endeavour that shapes agricultural outcomes for rural and regional communities in New South Wales, Australia and beyond. It is a really important brick in the design of where we want to go in future,” His Excellency said.
The Vice-Regal couple’s visit to Armidale and surrounds is the first in a series to connect with regional towns and communities across New South Wales and included a tour of the New England Regional Art Museum and an introduction to the award-winning Backtrack program.
More photos can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unepix/albums/72157661578348814.