The UNE SMART Farms provide a location, infrastructure and other resources to support the research of UNE academics and their collaborators. A wide array of multi-disciplinary research is being undertaken across the Farms with a range of partners and collaborators.
Areas of research currently being undertaken on the UNE SMART Farms include:
- sheep and cattle genetic and nutrition research
- animal behaviour and welfare research
- dog nutrition
- poultry nutrition, production and welfare research
- pasture management
- natural resource management
- water resource flow research
- native animal research
- agro forestry
- agronomy and horticulture research
- mixed farming systems research
- soil moisture and crop yield mapping
- cattle grazing behaviour research
- crop variety development
- precision agriculture research
- forestry and pasture establishment and production research
Current Research Projects
- National Resource Flock Project
On an annual basis, phenotype information is collected along with genotype information on a large number of sheep, providing the the reference population on which genomic prediction can be based.
- On-animal sensors for monitoring animal health and welfare
An on-animal sensor system which will allow graziers the ability to spatially and temporally monitor their animal’s health and welfare status autonomously.
- Alpacas: Guardian Angels for Sheep?
The use of guardian animals to protect another domesticated species has been used globally as a form of predator deterrent. However, there is little scientific based evidence in relation to alpacas as guardian animals.
- Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate
The Insect Ecology Lab group are evaluating the impact of a changing climate on ecosystem services particularly in relation to ants and dung beetles.
Past Research Projects
- Biomass Business II
Developing applications for mobile devices such as smart phones for farmers to monitor and manage pasture biomass.
- UAV automated surveillance of in-field hotspots for improved management
Low-cost, high quality 3D crop monitoring using drones.
- SMART Farm Landscape Laboratory
Establishing the UNE SMART Farm as a ‘landscape laboratory'.
- UAV platform for testing new sensor technologies in precision agriculture
Building applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to support field data collection, new sensor development and image-calibration work involving satellite and aerial images.
- Remote monitoring of livestock Validating remote monitoring of cattle weights using a new walk over weighing system.
- Low cost remote water tank monitoring using satellites to directly access sensor data
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