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Farmers flying towards the future

By Tracey Holley posted 25-10-2021 06:35

Farmers flying towards the future

NSW Farmers members and horticulturalists in Batlow have been given a hands-on experience of the future of agriculture.

The ‘day of drones’ training was a result of NSW Farmers partnering with Tocal College and Bralca, with AgSkiled delivering funding to train the production, horticulture and grains sectors. NSW Farmers Gundagai Branch chair Kevin Malone said the course gave participants a chance to see if a drone would be of value within their farming operations.

“I was pretty impressed with the drone, farmers are always looking for a way to do things better, smarter and safer,” Mr Malone said.

“A drone may be a great opportunity to improve the way a farm operates because they can go places an ATV, side by side or spray rig will not.

“This could be a vital addition to a farmers infrastructure, and the capabilities of the specialist spray drone were really impressive, it could really assist in the management of weeds around low access areas.”

Drone trainer Ben Watts from Bralca has run drone training across the state for NSW Farmers.

“We use this equipment every day and I am still amazed that farmers keep coming up with applications we have not considered,” Mr Watts said.

“Of course, there is a regulatory framework around the use of drones, and understanding your obligations and responsibilities as a pilot is paramount, which is what we help deliver.”

The drone course was also an opportunity for NSW Farmers Regional Services Manager Daniel Brear to engage with members on issues affecting them and their farms.

“Drones are not the only thing on the rise in the region at the moment, NSW Farmers members are concerned around a range of issues,” Mr Brear said.

“The rising farm costs associated with a council Special Rate Variation, the rise of towers across our farmland to drive the energy needs of our capital cities and the rise of pest animals and weeds invading our farmland from forestry, public land and national parks are all concerns our organisation is taking very seriously.”

Media Contact: Stephen Mudd | 0429 011 690 |
1 comment



10-12-2021 19:57

I did the NSWF drone course a while ago and purchased a "gumtree" drone (phantom 4)soon after. I found it particularly good for checking calving cows in tall tropical grasses that have been quite prolific these last two years. I have mustered weaners out of wheat paddocks that were too wet to hold up a quad bike, and generally checked water and crops etc. One thing I didn't learn from the drone course was where to get my drone repaired in the event of a crash which happened when i installed the battery incorrectly and the battery fell out mid flight...  I have now got it isured as crashes can be expensive ($500) . Definitely recommend this course :)