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Producer says drones are the way of the future for farming

Anakie farmer Richard Hawkins is using drone technology to help him keep an eye on his stock.
Anakie farmer Richard Hawkins is using drone technology to help him keep an eye on his stock. Warren Lynam

WITH a new "toy," Anakie cattle producer Richard Hawkins is transforming the way he farms.

In an effort to embrace technology as "the way of the future" Mr Hawkins has invested in a drone.

He said it was unlike anything he had used before, but with an open mind, the drone could make life easier for people on the land.

Mr Hawkins used it to experiment with mustering, but he said the drone had already proved itself handy in more ways than one.

"I just thought it might have been good for finding cattle suffering from three-day sickness," he said.

"Also first calf heifers, they're difficult to find too."

Mr Hawkins said the drone had the potential to cut working time enormously.

"Last year I had a terrible lot of trouble, spending days and days going around trying to find these cattle," he said.

While Mr Hawkins said the drone was "good fun" and he "felt like a 10-year-old" when it arrived, he said that like anything, it took time to master.

"We recently did all our weaner mustering, I was using the drone and my son was on the four-wheeler," he said.

"It was quicker, but it did get a bit frustrating. I think with anything new, it takes a while to learn the technique."

Mr Hawkins said he believed drones were "the way of the future" and had the potential to make farming life a lot easier.

He said he understood drones were controversial, but he hoped red tape would be eased for farming purposes.

Topics:  cattle producers central highlands


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