Extending over three days in May the Tocal Field Days, held in the NSW Hunter Valley, are a premier event to showcase all that is new and exciting in agriculture, and in 2018 we were excited to see a collaboration between Hunter Local Land Services and Young Farming Champion Casey Onus, who together took the world of drones to the enthralled public.
Casey Onus at Tocal Field Day answering landowners questions about CASA rules and utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations
“We set up a drone simulator on the big screen in the Hunter LLS tent to encourage people to come and ask their questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one,” Casey said. “The drone simulator was quite popular, especially with the school kids on the Friday, but we had quite a lot of landowners come with questions about CASA rules, utilising drones on-farm in their individual situations and even questions from people who had already purchased a drone but didn’t quite have the confidence to fly it yet.”
Although Casey believes satellite imagery remains more economical for large-scale crops, she knows drones have multiple uses on the farm from stock scouting in rugged terrain to monitoring water troughs and weed populations. And they are fun to fly!
So popular was Casey’s demonstration that even Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam, had a go at the simulator.
Chair of Hunter Local Land Services Board Lindy Hyam and Casey Onus encouraging landholders to ask questions about using drones on farm and to have a go at flying before they make the investment to get one,
“Hunter Local Land Services recognises that addressing innovation and utilising modern technology is a key challenge for many local farmers, and is keen to find practical solutions to help local producers improve their productivity and profitability,” Penny Evans from Hunter LLS said. “Casey and her drone simulator created quite a buzz at the Tocal Field Days and it showed there is demand from the local community to help them adapt new technologies to their needs.”
Hunter LLS and Casey will partner again in 2018 as they take The Archibull Prize into local schools to excite young people about the high level of technology in agriculture and inspire them to think about STEM career pathways in agriculture .
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