Mind-boggling and exciting: Kalfresh owner
KALFRESH co-owner Rob Hinrichsen was an interested listener at the field day.
"It's exciting. And it's kind of fun too," Mr Hinrichsen said. "Some of it's a bit mind-boggling but I think they're going to get there.
Kalfresh was started in 1992 by Rob and his father Barry in the Fassifern Valley and now has about 600 hectares under crop.
"It's a technology for large scale farming where you can't get over every square foot of your farm but with UAVs they can bring you back infrared maps saying you've got problems here, here and here," he said.
"Even with horticulture where we can get over all our properties we've sort of gone, it has limited use but there are some novel ideas coming, maybe in the sphere of disease prevention where they can act before the disease even starts.
"There are so many spectrums of light they can pull out of these things. They could make a light spectrum of disease issues before it even breaks out in the plant. It puts us a long way ahead in our ability to manage.
"So I think given a bit more time and money - investment - I believe they will come up with some good commercial applications for horticulture.
"That's where it has to become good useable information and that's what puts money in our back pocket; that's the key. I lot of the challenge is bringing together the boffins and the boofheads with reality.
"I'm a computer analyst, I'm not a farmer. It's marrying those together and getting commercial applications. That's the key.
"We're at a stage now with horticulture where a pick-up of five or 10 per cent makes a big difference.
"So the really big leaps in the industry are sort of old. We've become very efficient, we've become very good at what we do so if you can pick up five or 10 per cent it's absolutely worth it."