A fun and relaxed ending for the Hydroponic Farmers' Federation conference

The Hydroponic Farmers' Federation (HFF) Conference in Dandenong, Victoria, has wrapped up.

More than 200 delegates attended the three-day event, and organizers say one of the key focuses was the trade show and being able to network with other growers and tradespeople.

One of those exhibitors was Roy Houweling, Director of Pacer Profiles Pty Ltd, and he had an innovative way to attract the attention of the attendees, in addition to a mobile phone charging station at his booth. People could put on a sash and could strike a 'modeling' pose.

"Sometimes trade shows can be a bit clinical, so I got Christine involved, and we thought let's just take photos of people when they come up," he said. "We stood there with a pose, and last night we just loaded them all on our corporate video so people could see themselves as they walked past. It was all a bit of fun to get people involved and comfortable."

Pacer Profiles provides plastic extrusions for gullies used in herb, fruit, and vegetable/salad growing.

"We have a few different ones that are available," Mr. Houweling said. "We have a panda gully that is black on the inside and white on the outside. We have a split - or what we call a double gully - that is better for growing Bok Choi, so we have some speciality products that we can offer, as well as fittings to go with it. We make gullies for fixed systems, for the traditional growing of herbs and lettuce. Then also for moving systems, so it's a lot more efficient use of space."

Another exhibitor was advanced sustainable agricultural products and technical solutions company Prodoz, which was showcasing its range of Levity Crop Science fertilizers used for different purposes. Prodoz Managing Director Martin Vadakekuttu says they have mostly been used in outdoor or broadacre cropping, but it would also be a good product to use in protected cropping applications as well, such as berries tomatoes, and cucumbers, to name a few.

"It improves the food quality and the plant health," Prodoz Managing Director Martin Vadakekuttu said. "This product was developed in the UK by two scientists, and it is being used all over the world and is being well received. We are a distributor for Levity Crop Science. The benefits for the growers are that it improves the quality of the produce, and there is a product that works on different issues. Each has its own technology that targets different problems such as stress or disease. 

Other presentation topics that took place on the final day included Medicinal Cannabis, Risk Management, Robotics and Automation, the growth of a Berry farm, and finished off with a fun presentation from Marine Biologist Sheree Marris on what the mating habits of sea creatures can teach Hydroponic growers/businesses.

On Wednesday evening, the conference dinner was held where committee members David Pearson and Tony Spurling were awarded Life Memberships to the HFF.

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