Tag Archives: Conference

Trans-Tasman Rivalry at LandWISE 2016


Disputes between horticultural interests on either side of the Tasman will be settled once and for all until the next time at the LandWISE Conference Dinner.

Cross “7 Days” with a sub-tropical vegetable and what do you get?

An intense debate between main and dessert courses will pit teams from east and west of Lord Howe Island. Three of the finest growers and agronomists from each camp will line up before adjudicator Ian Layden.

A true Queensland patriot and government agent, Ian is totally unbiased and will ensure a fair fight. “I’ve done this a lot”, he says. “It’s a great deal of fun!” “You won’t see any overarm tactics from our side”, he adds.

Make up of the Kiwi team is a closely guarded secret and will not be announced until immediately before the contest. Rumours indicate this is because the New Zealand camp leader has been away a lot and may not have contacted eligible contestants. This has been denied.

With record numbers registering for LandWISE 2016, there will be plenty of witnesses available to assert their side was the true winner on the night.

Delegates can also look forward to a full array of excellent presenters, a great chance to chat with colleagues and make new contacts and watch an airshow displaying UAVs from 1 kg to 64 kg.

We thank our loyal sponsors for their support for LandWISE 2016

More information here

Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!
Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!

Excellent LandWISE 2016 Conference Speakers

We published the list and short biographies of our invited speakers today. We are again privileged to have an extremely knowledgeable group representing farmers, technologists and researchers from both sides of the Tasman Sea.

Conference keynotes and new LandWISE Australians include Ian Layden and Julie O’Halloran, precision horticulture researchers and extension specialists from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

Ian and Julie are leading a group of two dozen top growers and agronomists for a week of related events built around the LandWISE Conference. Queensland farmer Ben Moore and Tasmanian farmer Robbie Tole will present their own experiences investigating precision horticulture opportunities.

Returning LandWISE Australians are Tristan Perez from Queensland University of Technology and John McPhee from the University of Tasmania. Tristan will update us on progress with weeding robot AgBot II and Harvey the capsicum picker. John will tell us about precision horticulture research underway in Tasmania.

Parallel work is being done in New Zealand. Look for reports from  Plant and Food researchers Sarah Sinton, Paul Johnstone and long serving LandWISE Board member Bruce Searle. Chris Smith from AgriOptics, Jane Adams of OnionsNZ and LandWISE’s Dan Bloomer and Justin Pishief will overlay a series of precision cropping and related topics.  Charles Merfield from the Future Farming Centre will give a review of biostimulants and related technologies – a different aspect of the agritech revolution.

Rounding out Day 1 are agritech accelerator Sprout Entrepreneur in Residence Stu Bradbury and two accelerating companies represented by Tom Rivett and Julian McCurdy.

Day 2 has a focus on value from data and robotics. We hear a lot about “big data” and “value chains”: what are they? Alistair Mowat, James Beech and Megan Cushnahan will tell us how they and others are getting real value, and where there’s still value to be tapped. Roger Williams will outline how Plant and Food is investing in digital horticulture research.

Lincoln Agritech’s Armin Werner has been a regular attendee at LandWISE. This year he takes the stage with a global review of field robotics and weeding technologies in particular. Kit Wong will tell us about Callaghan Innovation development of systems for machine vision to manage onion crops.

David Herries of Interpine will take us to a different sector and explain how UAVs are giving value in forest research and management.  And rounding it all up, Simon Morris of ALtus UAS will make sure we understand the regulations governing our use of this still new but very powerful technology.

So come to LandWISE 2016: the value of smart farming. Have you mind expanded, your knowledge updated and your excitement kindled. Mix and mingle with leaders in farming, agronomy and agtech!

Conference programme here>

Speaker biographies here>

Conference registration here>


The Value of Smart Farming

header1525 and 26 May 2016

Havelock North Function Centre

LandWISE 2016: The Value of Smart Farming is our 14th Annual Conference! Details are on-line and registrations open.

This year we are proud to host a delegation from Australia with two dozen growers and advisors crossing the Tasman to join us. The conference is the central point of their week long tour from Auckland through the Bay of Plenty to Hawke’s Bay and the Manawatu.

Tour leader, Ian Layden is also one of our keynote speakers. Ian and the Queensland growers have been trialing precision vegetable growing, assessing the same sort of things that are of interest to LandWISE members. We look forward to learning from their experiences.

A carrot harvester fitted with a yield monitor as part of Queensland Precision Vegetables research. (C) Image from SPAA 2015 Conference Proceedings
A carrot harvester fitted with a yield monitor as part of Queensland Precision Vegetables research. (C) Image from SPAA 2015 Conference Proceedings

On a different angle, Charles Merfield will present results from a review of the agricultural uses of plant biostimulants. Plant biostimulants are diverse substances and microorganisms used to enhance plant growth. The global market for biostimulants is projected to increase 12 % per year and reach over $2 billion by 2018!  Despite the growing use of biostimulants in agriculture, many in the scientific community consider biostimulants to be lacking peer-reviewed scientific evaluation. Merf’s review will get us up to date with the science that is available on this topic of great and growing interest.

In 2015, LandWISE and Plant and Food Research began a three year project investigating variability in onions crops. We will report results from our first year’s activities, ranging from individual onion measurements to images from satellites and a swag of things in between.

Mapping canopy development with smartphone app - camera shrouded to avoid shadow effects
Mapping canopy development with smartphone app – camera shrouded to avoid shadow effects

We hear more and more about “big data” and “data analytics” and “value chains”.  These need not be scary! and we have several experienced speakers to let you in on the secrets. Join Alistair Mowat, James Beech and Megan Cushnahan as they explain value chains, the value of massive amounts of image data to identify signatures of specific crop factors, and how big data gives insights that were previously unseeable.

The party wouldn’t be complete without a peek at field robots and UAVs. Do you know the Civil Aviation rules about flying a drone – even on your own place?

Check out the programme, register and we’ll see you in Havelock North!

Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!
Thanks to Our Loyal Platinum Sponsors!