AgTech expo a learning opportunity for producers

April 5, 2024 BY

Innovators: The Agritechnica expo in Germany run by Hannover Fairs is on its way to Melbourne, bringing with it discussions and potential solutions to some of agriculture's biggest challenges. Photo: SUPPLIED

INNOVATION in agriculture is to be celebrated at the first Australian Agritechnica conference in Melbourne.

The FutureAg Expo will bring together experts and professionals working on solutions to agricultural challenges such as climate change and food insecurity.

Ballarat local Matt Dalgeish, co-founder of agricultural consultancy firm, Episode 3, said the conference is an opportunity for agricultural producers to hear from some of the best minds in agriculture.

“The more understanding you have about what’s happening right now but also what might happen in the future, the more access you have to new technologies or knowledge,” he said.

The expo is run by Hannover Fairs Australia, who invited Mr Dalgeish and his business partner Andrew Whitelaw to speak at the conference. “We’re up on the first day talking about what’s been going on in that broader agricultural and international space, like some of the geopolitical issues that have happened recently and the supply chain disruptions from COVID and beyond” he said.

Mr Dalgeish and Mr Whitelaw experienced their own disruptions to business during COVID, which in part led to the sale of their pig farm in Bendigo.

“We had a farm manager and a couple of labourers there but through COVID it was really difficult to access labour,” he said.

“Certain industries like some of the trades are fairly short on supply, health care, even the abattoirs are still struggling a little bit for processor staff numbers.

“It’s not as bad as what it was through COVID but there’s not many sectors in that space that are flush with workers that’s for sure.”

Staffing shortages is only one of the problems agriculture experts are looking to solve, with food waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change all adding to the challenge.

“If you look at what’s happening with regards to global weather patterns, domestic weather patterns, and climate change more broadly we’re entering into what appears to be much more volatile times,” Mr Dalgeish said.

The FutureAg conference will feature a free exhibition space and an expert stage where visitors can hear from the people looking to solve some of these problems.

It’s on from 17 to 19 of April at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Matt Dalgeish and Andrew Whitelaw also host a podcast on agricultural innovation called AgWatchers.