Survey to explore farm technology use
Shifts in technology uptake by farmers will be explored in DairyNZ’s five-yearly tech survey, which looks to understand shifts in practices and what efficiencies are gained.
DairyNZ senior scientist Callum Eastwood says technology options for farmers have expanded rapidly over the years, and the survey looks to provide accurate insight into technology uptake nationally.
“The survey will look at what technology has been adopted in the past five years, and the comparison with previous findings. In 2018 we forecast that the next study would show continued investment in commonly used automation technology, along with an increase in information technologies such as animal wearables,” says Dr Eastwood.
“It will be interesting to see the comparison between the surveys and see what existing and new innovative farm technology have recently been adopted by farmers. We will also be using this work to better understand the opportunities of technology uptake for our farmers.”
The DairyNZ project is led by Dr Callum Eastwood and Brian Dela Rue, and supported by delivery partner Cuthbert and Associates, who started conducting the survey from late February. It will involve 500 randomly selected dairy farmers nationwide, covering the topics of on-farm systems, technologies on-farm, workforce productivity and infrastructure.
“The last survey in 2018 highlighted that rotary sheds were significantly more labour efficient, being generally newer, larger and having more technology incorporated,” says Dr Eastwood.
“It also showed investment in information technologies such as milk meters, stock weighers and detection systems have historically been low, so we are keen to see if that has changed.”
“We appreciate the support from farmers who participate in our survey and how it will help us further our understanding on current technology adoption and farm practices. For some, the thought of answering a survey at this time may be difficult, especially for those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“In our planning, we have taken that into account, and we are excluding farms in the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast for this reason. For other regions we are taking a phased approach, contacting farmers in the South Island first, and other cyclone-affected regions will be contacted towards the end of the survey period, later in March.”
Survey findings will be released in May, to share what practices are trending, the efficiencies they provide, and support other farmers to increase productivity and efficiency on-farm.
Find out more about our previous survey at dairynz.co.nz/technology or call 0800 4 324 7969 if you have any enquiries.
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