Farmers' web portal winner

AG-HUB, an agriculture web portal for farmers, has been awarded the Telecommunications Users' Association of New Zealand (Tuanz) "best of the best" prize at its 2011 innovations awards.

Ag-Hub captured information from on-farm recording devices such as feed readers, effluent irrigators, moisture tapes and weather stations.

That information was transmitted to Ag-Hub through wireless farm network FarmNet.

Farmers could use the tool to generate reports on things such as pasture cover, yield mapping, fertiliser requirements, water use, soil moisture and temperature, effluent nutrients, application rates, weather and animal weights.

Future applications included measuring fertiliser performance against soil test information and fertiliser recommendations.

In addition to capturing information on-farm, Ag-Hub enabled information to be fed into other online tools, such as the industry-recognised nutrient management tool Overseer.

Operating as an open-industry portal, it enabled other companies to build and host their applications, as well as link to other sites, so farmers did not have to go into multiple sites to view information relevant to that industry.

It also delivered information to other users, such as consultants, authorised by the farm owner. They could view in real time what was happening on the property from anywhere with internet access.

Farmworks Systems Ltd, the company that created Ag-Hub, is 51% owned by Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

Ballance chief executive Larry Bilodeau said the high level of interest from farmers confirmed the company's view that it "was a winner".


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