Farm technology on Show

Danella BevisThe West Australian

A spin-off from last year's popular Farm 2 Food Pavilion, the Royal Agricultural Society's new Farm Tech exhibition did not disappoint younger showgoers keen to get their hands on some of the sophisticated technology used on farms across the State.

RAS agricultural exhibition coordinator Caroline Farmer said the RAS had been working on the new exhibition, designed to demonstrate the use of technology in agriculture, all year with an emphasis on a fun, educational, interactive and hands-on experience for visitors.

The exhibition attracted thousands of children and their parents, who planted about 800ha of crops on the tractor simulator and flew 144 simulated drown hours, while 2200 children were "drafted" to find out their wool micron.

"It's all about precision farming. At the back we've got pedal tractors which kids can ride around on doing a typical pattern they would do using GPS auto-steer technology," she said.

"Then they go on to the GPS auto-steer computer machine and actually see how that plays out, sitting in the seat with the steering wheel, and how you actually engage the auto-steer on the screen so that it aligns up with the line within 2cm accuracy.

"(Children are able to see) how that improves and makes farmers more efficient, so they are less likely to miss or overlap and they save money, fuel and time."

RAS president Rob Wilson said the show provided plenty of opportunities for both children and their parents to interact with farm animals and get a hands-on experience at exhibits.

"We've always had a lot of agriculture here, but what's important now is to try to improve the way that we show it so it's more interactive, there's a greater learning experience for the children and we're doing that through the Farm 2 Food and the Farm Tech," he said.

"It's very important that kids not only understand a little bit about farming and farmers and their food but some of the equipment that they use these days.

"Other areas, like the district displays, landcare and soil health - we need to also improve the way we showcase that to the urban community."

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