The DairySA Innovation Day that kicked off on the 19th of June was a huge success. There was much buzz about the latest offerings in the technology space with a fair turnout from the South Australian dairying community. We (Adam, Juan and I) took our company along with a stall that again attracted much attention. Well, the focus on us probably had a lot to do with the chocolate gold coins we had on offer. Getting to the point, why wouldn't there be a focus on us when we can proudly say "we're making money out of pasture, wanna learn more?" In the next paragraph, I'm going to let you in on a bit of the secret ingredients to successful farming. I do not doubt that you already know this and hope to re-affirm in your mind that you're on the right path to success.

Here lies the secret to success in pasture management. Pasture gives us our economic freedom as farmers, and you know this is true for you. How do I know? Well, that is why you're here on our website. If you can get an accurate picture of the pasture on your farm, and utilise this information in meaningful ways. This information will set you up to be more resilient to external price volatility. You'll have greater control over what you do, which in turn reduces overacting to external influences. To summarise what I'm trying to say. Proper pasture management means that you can operate at a higher level of control. This control comes with not just a firm finger on the pulse, but a considerate finger. This control translates into a natural restraint that neither over or under-react. In other words, you get things right.

Back to the conference, we once again held a stall with grass lining the display and chocolate coins, you guessed it, chocolate coins growing out of the green. Whoever said that pasture isn't sweet to chew? Okay, so armed with a display to catch the eye, a snappy tagline, we were ready for the conversations to start rolling. What we've found from our attendance at conferences, is that this message of makin' money out of grass resonates with everyone strongly. It doesn't matter the grazing system such as high or low concentrate inputs, irrigated or dryland (or affected by drought!). Everyone has the same desire to get pasture management right.

The conference theme: Feedbase for the Future
Ollie, Adam and Juan posing... again!
Adam on task programming on demand
Juan joining the discussion with microphone in hand

The most exciting part of the conference was to listen to the lectures that Santiago Utsumi passionately provided. The first lecture, titled 'High tech pasture management: direct learnings from the US' fit the program exceptionally well. Here is the blurb straight from the conference agenda:

"Prof. Utsumi is a leading researcher based at Michigan State University. Hear how the latest state of the art precision dairy technologies impact forage base in pasture to enhance milk production and gain insights into how this high-tech pasture management can ultimately increase profit for your business."

The second lecture 'Leveraging technology to assist with the new frontier', resonated strongly with us. The tone was on increasing efficiencies in our farming systems. For example, focussing both on animal and pasture performance, for maximising both components to not only increase on-farm profit but to reduce our carbon footprint per kilogram produced. Anyway, here is the blurb from the agenda:

"In the quest for more efficient dairy cows and sustainable systems, what role can present technologies and innovations play? We welcome Prof Utsumi back to the stage to expand on the morning’s discussion, delving into the role of leading edge precision dairy and grazing technologies - including robotics, sensors and acoustics - and the part they play in pasture management."

Our very own Juan (Customer Success Manager) threw himself into the spotlight by grabbing the microphone and joining the discussion. His input was to highlight the completion of significant research and development in Australia. Juan is highly proficient in this area, having spent a fair amount of his time with the University of Syndey in dairy research and graduating with a PhD in 2018.

Adam, our Chief Technology Officer (CTO) had an arsenal of features requested. In conference tradition, Adam ploughed through with lightning-fast speeds to demonstrate how quickly we can get stuff done. In the lead-up to the conference, Adam managed to revamp the entire front pages, add product tours inside the app to help guide people around and make a smoother login-signup process. All this work completed while performing his duties as CTO!

We enjoyed the conference so much, and we'll be back next year. If you visited the conference, why don't you tell us what you thought below in the comments?

Happy farming!

- Ollie Roberts, 17 Jul 2019