Industry experts combine at CSU to solve farming issues in real-time

Innovators: Jake Geltch (L), Jack Klimpsch and Stephen Cassidy, attended the first NSW regional Agrihack at CSU this week, working together to solve rural issues.

Innovators: Jake Geltch (L), Jack Klimpsch and Stephen Cassidy, attended the first NSW regional Agrihack at CSU this week, working together to solve rural issues.

Challenges on the farm were the focus of the first agriculture-hackathon in regional NSW this week. 

Industry experts from across the state came together at Charles Sturt University for a two-day workshop, seeking solutions to genuine rural issues affecting the Riverina and beyond. 

Small teams of farmers, software and web developers, agribusiness professionals, mental health experts and academics attended the Agrihack Innovation Harvest, hosted by Wagga’s university.

Experience and inspiration were shared in the hopes of addressing problems across all farming sectors.

Issues of travel-time across farm-land, the inefficiency of E-tagging and the struggles of dairy-succession planning were all brought to the table on Thursday and Friday. 

A team of IT gurus worked to design self-contained, weather-protected web servers that sent real-time images directly to the farmer. 

Innovator Jake Geltch said it would mean farmers did not have to travel long distances every day, wasting time to check the status of their land. 

Mr Geltch said the network would not necessarily rely on the internet and would provide a connection hotspot to farmers so they could place calls where there was normally no service. 

With 800 hectares to travel every morning, Collingullie farmer Dane Somerville said he loved the idea. 

“I can see the need to cut hours out of the day,” Mr Somerville said. “It would definitely be worth the investment.”

The Agrihack Innovation Harvest will finish with every team’s final pitch. Winners will take home a cash prize and will have the opportunity to develop their ideas further.  

Agrihack founder Dianna Somerville said the collision of all the different cogs in the agriculture machine could finally open an on-farm improvement conversation. 

“We’re hoping this will be the first of an annual event,” Ms Somerville said.