Field day tackles energy and drones

By Dairy News

Energy prices have increased recently and are expected to increase further into the near future.

In response to these price rises, many farmers are investigating alternative energy sources to supplement the power from the grid.

This has led to frustration and confusion about making sound investments in alternative energy sources, with concerns about payback periods and expected working life of the different types of technology available on the market. Many farmers have also expressed concerns about the legitimacy of some door-to-door solar panel providers.

Corangamite Shire Council, with the support of WestVic Dairy, will hold a field day at the Simpson Recreation Reserve on Thursday, March 15 with renewable energy expert Wayne Lording, to outline how alternative power sources may play a role in reducing power costs on farms.

Mr Lording is a renewable energy expert and has installed a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar PV and solar hot water on his farm. This investment reduced his average quarterly energy bill for 2016 to $19.

At the field day, Mr Lording will share his experiences to help guide you through the benefits and potential pitfalls of these technologies. He will provide independent advice about how the different technologies may be able to save you considerable money.

Another topic covered at the field day will be the use of drones. Recent developments in drone technology have meant they are more affordable and available to everyone.

Mr Lording will demonstrate how this emerging technology can be applied to dairy farms. He will discuss safety, regulations and what model/type of drone is going to be most suitable for agricultural application.

At the field day, Mr Lording will fly a drone over a local dairy farm that will show weed, crop and land health using an NDVI camera on the drone. This data will be fed back to the screen in the live presentation, showing what the farm may need with such things as fertiliser and water.

To RSVP for the workshop or for more information, phone WestVic Dairy on 5557 1000 or email

For more information about Wayne Lording, go to:

For an outline of how dairy farmers will be impacted by energy price rises, go to the Dairy Australia website at and click on ‘Energy briefing note 2017–18’.