Cropping

Technology focus at Bendigo

By Country News

Artificial intelligence could provide a game-changing weapon for Australian grain growers in their battle against costly weeds within their farming systems.

Breakthrough green-on-green weed search-and-destroy technology, developed in France, has the potential to reduce in-crop herbicide usage by 80 per cent, according to the company behind the technology.

Victorian grain growers, their advisers and other grains industry personnel will be given a first-hand account of the technology’s potential at the Grains Research and Development Corporation’s grains research update in Bendigo on February 26 and 27.

Co-founder and chief executive officer of French technology start-up company Bilberry, Gillaume Jourdain, will be a keynote speaker at the event.

Mr Jourdain, who is a trained engineer, will discuss his company’s artificial intelligence-based weed management tool, which combines an array of cameras with in-crop weed recognition, real-time spot spraying and weed mapping software.

The Bilberry technology, which utilises specially developed AI algorithms, can recognise weeds within agricultural crops at 60km/h, day and night.

At the grains research update in Bendigo, Mr Jourdain will focus on this capability and review the results that Bilberry achieved with the technology’s first users.

Australian Farm Institute executive director Richard Heath will also deliver a keynote address at the event, discussing how public perceptions and consumer emotions influence engagement in the debate around agricultural practices, and what that means in terms of how the agricultural sector needs to communicate to re-build trust.

GRDC southern grower relations manager Courtney Ramsey said the grains research update would present the latest research findings, advice and recommendations for informing growers’ decision-making within the context of broader industry challenges and opportunities.

‘‘Considered the state’s premier research, development and extension forum, the annual Bendigo grains research update plays an important function in providing industry in this state with the latest insights and advice from the GRDC’s broad portfolio of investments in research and development,’’ Ms Ramsey said.

‘‘Updates present an opportunity for growers, advisers and other industry stakeholders to learn about the latest findings from GRDC research and where and how that can be applied to drive greater profitability on-farm.’’

With the theme of Boosting Profitability – Resilient Solutions, Ms Ramsey said it was critical Victorian growers and advisers were equipped with cutting-edge knowledge and resources to inform their tactical decision-making and guide them through the coming cropping season and beyond.

Tickets to the event are $345 for two days and $245 for a single day, while students can purchase a two-day ticket for $150 or a single day ticket for $80.

To register for the event, visit: grdc.com.au/events/list