by Louise Shannon
FROM driverless robots to drones and automated irrigation systems, a new Central Queensland forum is set to showcase some of the region's most forward- thinking developments at the intersection of agriculture, machinery and technology.
The inaugural AgTeCH17: Build it, Use it, Profit event to be held early next month will feature a day of speakers and information, including in-field demonstrations, exploring the future of agribusiness and the latest innovations available to improve farm and business profitability.
The convention - delivered by the Central Highlands Development Corporation with Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - will focus on early-stage and developing commercial applications and will also highlight earthmoving equipment, precision agriculture and other big data and sensor applications.
CHDC general manager Sandra Hobbs said the forum was hosting a range of speakers.
They will represent local innovators and startups such as Gindie-based SwarmFarm driverless robots, as well as "revolutionary” Australian platforms such as AgriDigital and Premise Agriculture, and also leading technology divisions of national and international businesses such as Vanderfield, Hitachi and Komatsu.
Peter Lewis, former executive producer and reporter for ABC's Landline, will emcee the forum, which will include 10 expert speakers.
"This event explores the opportunities for cropping, livestock, service industries and supply chain enterprises to improve cost efficiencies, product quality and provenance through automated and digital technologies,” Ms Hobbs said.
"The Central Highlands is a growing technology service hub for the agriculture, mining and civil construction sectors across Queensland and nationally.
"AgTeCH17 will also shine a light on the many other regionally-based agtech businesses and their potential to supply products and services globally.”
The day will finish with a bus tour of 2PH Farm's world-class automated packing facilities and another farm location to see the latest in robotics and drone technology.
Applications are now open for the AgTeCH17 Young Tech Bursary, which will provide 20 agtech entrepreneurs and students (and their teachers) from across the Central Highlands the chance to attend the event.
The forum, from 8.30am-5.30pm, will be held at the McIndoe Function Centre, Opal St, Emerald, on November 8.
Tickets can be purchased at chdc.com.au.