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August 9, 2018

Key Conference Takeaways

We all need to innovate to thrive in the face of change and disruption. That was the key message at our 2018 Tractor and Machinery Conference.

There’s no magic formula, but our conference speakers certainly delivered some great insights into the forces shaping our industry in 2018. Here’s a quick recap and links to some of the presentations, just in case you missed anything along the way.

There was a big focus on technology this year. Wes Le Froy (Rabobank) predicted a data heavy future in ag, with technology like blockchain, (a digital platform that links the farm and consumer), enhancing transparency and provenance, on the rise.

David Chuter (Innovative Manufacturing CRC) described the future of ag as being in robotics and automation; sensors and analytics; vertical farm systems; additive manufacturing and virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

Jesse Reader (Bosch) said food production was going to have to double by 2030 to satisfy population growth and would need precision ag to get there.

People and employment was also a big focus at this year’s conference. According to Hayley Achurch (Regional Australia Institute), across the board regional populations are growing and Justin Smirk (Westpac) said women were the fastest growing sector in ag.

How do you attract and retain skilled workers in ag? Nigel Crawley from Rimfire and Sarah Johnson of Hutcheon and Pearce said it is not easy if there are no clear opportunities for progression and employment for partners.

2017 was the best year for tractor sales since 1985, according to Alan Kirsten (Agriview), but he said demand is slowing. And, if Toyota New Zealand has ditched its dealer network, where to from here for machinery dealerships?

There was some great food for thought this year. What were your biggest conference outtakes? Get in touch by email or on social media and let us know.