Best farm tech ideas show­cased at Hackathon

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - RU­RAL REPORTER

The win­ning team of the Agtech Hackathon showed that com­puter peo­ple can help farm­ers with on-farm tech­nol­ogy, say judges.

Smart-farm So­lu­tions, a Manawatu group of tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tors, won the event with an au­to­mated sys­tem to con­trol elec­tric fences, gates, wa­ter flow and to iden­tify sys­tem prob­lems.

Fi­nal­ist ideas in­cluded roam­ing pas­ture ro­bots, fly­ing sheep-dog drones and smart apps to help with ar­eas such as elec­tric fenc­ing and wa­ter sup­ply, to grass mon­i­tor­ing and weigh­ing live­stock.

The Agtech Hackathon saw teams of stu­dents, start-ups and tech whizzes come up with a range of hi-tech so­lu­tions to tackle com­mon is­sues that New Zealand farm­ers face ev­ery day.

Mi­crosoft’s New Zealand’s na­tional tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer Rus­sell Craig said the com­pany iden­ti­fied the ru­ral econ­omy as a huge op­por­tu­nity for tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘It is ex­cit­ing. There is so much po­ten­tial.’’

As the win­ner of the Agtech Hackathon, Smart-farm So­lu­tions, will now be sup­ported by Mi­crosoft to de­velop in­mar­ket prod­ucts based on their pro­to­type and to pur­sue other busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

A Smart Farm So­lu­tions team are the win­ners of the Agtech Hackathon.

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