News Release – LandWISE Conference 12th and 13th May 2010, Havelock North

April 15, 2010 – for immediate release
LandWISE Conference 12th and 13th May 2010, Havelock North

‘Know your Farm – with Precision Ag’
Leading researchers and practitioners of Precision Agriculture from around the world are to address the LandWISE Annual Conference on the 12th and 13th of May.

The conference is being opened by MAF Director of Strategy Development, James Palmer, who will speak about the challenges facing NZ agriculture and how the successful adoption of technology can offer solutions.

Keynote speaker Professor David Lamb will update delegates on worldwide advances in precision agriculture. Professor Lamb is the Director of the Precision Agriculture Research Group at the University of New England. He is well known in precision agriculture as an extremely knowledgeable and entertaining speaker.

Dr Charles Merfield from Ireland will outline how high precision agriculture tools are advancing organic cropping systems. Dr Eileen Perry from Victoria will explain the use of crop sensor technology and Dr Roger Mandel from Western Australia will “demystify precision agriculture”. Wade Riley from Mississippi will be telling delegates how to make it all work.

With farms investing heavily in precision agriculture tools there’s a need for other primary industry professionals to stay up to date. James Powrie from LandWISE says, “We are talking about shifting where farm money gets spent. The cost of inputs is rising, and the cost of precision ag technology falling, so it makes good financial sense to invest in these new tools. Bankers and advisers are recognising this is a major revolution in farming and everyone needs to adapt accordingly.”

LandWISE Chair Hugh Ritchie, says, “The LandWISE Conference has become one of the foremost events for farmers and their supporting industry reps to keep up to date with new technologies. LandWISE connects various players – farmers, scientists, technology providers – and facilitates projects where we all work together.”

LandWISE Manager, Dan Bloomer adds, “The conference is our biggest event, it is our main chance to get together and share news of the three year Sustainable Farming Fund Advanced Farming Systems project.  It is about using high technology on farms, with case studies and demonstration sites from Auckland to Canterbury.  Our farmers will stand up and share their stories too; how technology is ensuring more efficient use of water, soil, fuel and financial resources in New Zealand farming”.

The conference is well supported by industry, local government and primary sector groups. Key partner, the Foundation for Arable Research heads the list of Industry Gold Sponsors along with Farmlands, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, NZ Fresh Cuts, Gisborne District Council, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Horticulture New Zealand, CASE IH, WaterForce and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, AGMARDT and Potatoes New Zealand.

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