The biggest-ever Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) conference has wrapped up in Brisbane after presentations from around 80 speakers throughout the four-day event.
The peak industry body says more than 600 people registered for the conference, with more than 200 growers, and there were also more than 90 sponsors and exhibitors in the trade show, showcasing a wide range of products and services to the protected cropping industry.
One of those was Agri Automation, which offers a range of innovative agricultural solutions designed to help farmers improve productivity and efficiency. The company presented Burro, an autonomous vehicle that the company says is changing the way farmers approach labor by helping reduce the days of manually hauling heavy loads around the farm.
Henrietta Child and Kit Crawford from AgPick presented an RFID hand-harvesting system that aims to increase efficiency and provide transparency while also providing data collection and analytics. The technology has recently helped Australian companies with the transfer to piece rate wage legislation, and it has also recently added functionality to packhouse jobs for punnet packing and lidding.
Protected Cropping is one of the fastest-growing horticultural sectors in Australia, and the conference theme for the event is "Growing our Future." The industry encompasses many sectors of horticulture, including, but not limited to, fruits, vegetables, berries, leafy greens, herbs, cut flowers, nurseries, medicinal cannabis and aquaponics, vertical farms, and controlled environmental agriculture industries.