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Massey joins Lincoln in precision agriculture push

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Massey joins Lincoln in precision agriculture push

Massey University and Lincoln Ventures have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see them collaborate in precision agriculture research and education.

Professor Ian Yule, director of Massey’s Centre for Precision Agriculture, says the partnership will increase the research capabilities of both organisations in an important and developing area.

“Collaboration is the key,” he says. “We at Massey have our own areas of expertise and by joining with Lincoln Ventures we can pool our knowledge and resources. We have been working with Lincoln Ventures for a number of months now to identify how the cooperation might operate and we intend to build that relationship while working together on research and development projects.”

As well as research, the agreement also addresses joint and collaborative education and professional development.

“We need to get new graduates out there with good knowledge of the new technologies in precision agriculture – for example new systems in precision irrigation,” Professor Yule says.

“Professional development is also vital and we plan to offer courses for rural professionals and practical farmers so they can get up to speed with advancements in precision agriculture. We’re hoping to start that programme in January.”

The University and Lincoln Ventures have their own strengths in the area of precision agriculture, and Professor Yule says it made sense to pool that knowledge.

“For example, irrigation is an area where we can work together,” he says. “We think we can save 20 per cent of water through better irrigation systems and have done a lot of work in soil mapping and variable rate irrigation. Lincoln Ventures has expertise in sensors for soil moisture and radio networks to transfer information around the farm. The Government wants efficient farming systems so we need to work to make sure that happens.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Lincoln University, Lincoln Ventures Limited is a research and development company with a track record for applying new and innovative engineering and science technologies to enhance New Zealand’s agriculture, industry and environment.


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