Merriwa Springtime Show 2018 takes an Ag Technology and drought support focus

KEEPING farmers up to date with the latest apps and agricultural innovation will be one of the aims of this weekend’s Merriwa Springtime Show. 

The show committee have decided to take an ag technology focus, with expos and workshops in everything from precision cropping to remote electric fence monitoring.

Drones all the rage

Following a successful pilot program at the Merriwa Farm Safety Day in May, Hunter Local Land Services will bring their Farm Mapping and Drone Display workshop to the Upper Hunter again in September.

Merriwa Show president Rob Tindall said drones are becoming a popular on-farm tool and are used for everything from mapping to monitoring livestock and water and improved production and efficiency. 

“We are hoping people realise the potential of precision agriculture and bring a new level of management to their farming systems,” he said.

“People can bring their own drones along and we encourage you to bring your own smart phones and tablets.”

Merriwa Springtime Show guests can register for the workshops which will be held in Scone, Murrurundi and Denman from Tuesday September 25 to Thursday September 27.

The shockingly useful electric fence monitoring system

Merriwa’s Scott Glover has developed his own app for monitoring electric fences. 

After successful displays at the Merriwa Farm Safety Day, Ag Quip and the Tocal Field Days, Scott from AgriAce will showcase the technology at the Merriwa Showgounds on Saturday as part of the Springtime Show.

The FaultAlert fence sensors attach to your electric fence to detect and locate faults so you don’t have to do the on-ground work, saving hours of time monitoring a fence.

They then send a real time alert to the FaultAlert Mobile App to help you narrow down the location of the fault.

Scott’s display will be part of the Ag Tech Expo at the Merriwa Show, running from 10am to 2pm on Saturday September 15 at the Merriwa Showgrounds.

Presentation times will be available at the front gate on the day.

SMART TECHNOLOGY: Scott Glover of AgriAce with his remote electric fence monitoring system.

SMART TECHNOLOGY: Scott Glover of AgriAce with his remote electric fence monitoring system.

Drought support on hand

To accompany the Ag Tech Expo, Hunter Local Land Services is also working with the Rural Resilience Program to host a Drought Support Hub with access to information on subsidies, loans and allowances and the latest updates on drought management strategies.

You can visit the hub for advice or mental health support from the department of Primary Industries’ Rural Resilience Program, a Rural Financial Counsellor, Buy a Bale and Local Land Service staff.

Land Services Officer Maria Cameron said the need has become so great, they now have an additional employee hired full time helping people with freight subsidies applications across the Upper Hunter.

“It will be similar to a recent event held at the Gundy Polo Fields and we will also be at Singleton Show,” she said.

“We will focus on post drought management, prepping and cropping planning also.

“We are working with the Rural Resilience Program and rather than creating our own events, we are working with existing events to support them and add that extra element.”