STUDENTS from across the Wimmera witnessed digital agriculture in action at Grains Innovation Park on Thursday.
The visit was part of the 2019 Digital Innovation Festival and students from Kaniva, Rainbow, Balmoral, Birchip and Charlton attended.
Agriculture Victoria project officer Fiona Carine said the festival provided an opportunity for students to see how technology was being used in agricultural research as part of Agriculture Victoria's Smarter Safer Farms program.
"Staff demonstrated technology that they used in grain research," she said.
During the day, students visited the Australian Grains Genebank, which houses more than 300,000 crop varieties from around the world.
Agriculture Victoria's plant phenomics team showcased their drones and discussed how this technology was used in the field to collect important scientific data and speed up the plant breeding process.
This included a presentation on how artificial intelligence was used to monitor plant development.
During a tour of the seed phenomics and quality traits laboratories, the students heard how near-infrared multispectral and hyperspectral sensors were used to measure grain quality.
Mark Gould, who is coordinating Victoria's On-Farm Internet of Things Trial, shared how new technologies such as soil moisture probes were being adopted by local farmers to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of their businesses.
Rounding off the day was a a demonstration of emergency management technology from Forest Fire Management Victoria.
Ms Carine said staff were pleased with the level of interest from students.
"I think what resonated with the students was the practical demonstrations and thinking about how technology can be used in agriculture," she said.
"They also enjoyed hearing about the range of career paths in agriculture."
The region's schools were supported by the Victorian Wheat Research Foundation, which provided funding for transport to the event.