15 Feb 2012

Precision agriculture focus of ARF conference

6:33 am on 15 February 2012

Precision agriculture is becoming more important to cropping farmers as the industry looks to link itself more closely with dairying.

The Arable Research Foundation's North Island conference begins at Waikato University on Wednesday and chief executive Nick Pyke says the focus will be on new technologies to add value to arable farms.

He says farming systems are changing rapidly and ARF needs to make sure it is providing the best opportunity for arable farmers to remain viable.

Mr Pyke says the hard questions need to be asked, such as how to integrate cropping systems into dairying to maximise the value of an integrated farming system.

"So how do we use the crop to follow the animals either in the re-pasturing programme or to use the nutrients that are left behind by the animals.

About 200 people will attend the two-day event, which this year has a number of international speakers.