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Opportunities in the US Midwest – April mission announced

Agri-TechE

Missouri is the heartland for 50 per cent of US crop and livestock production. Following the success of the visit to St Louis, Missouri, in February 2020, we are planning a virtual mission, developing the relationship with this exciting agri-tech partnership in the US Midwest.
The Missouri Agri-Tech Connect Programme includes hosting a week-long virtual mission in April 2021, to explore the technology and introduce the businesses on both sides of the Atlantic. We were only able to take a handful of companies to St Louis last time, so now is the chance to see for yourself and get involved with the Programme.
This will be an ideal opportunity not only to learn about developments and opportunities in the US, but also to showcase some of the technology and innovations developed by Agri-TechE members.
Mark Sutherland, CMO of Missouri Partnership, says that the 2020 mission was incredibly well received across the state. “The meetings were robust, and they built on our 2019 agri-tech mission to the UK where statewide leaders learned first-hand just how much our two ecosystems have in common.
“There is a strong desire to continue these missions long term and find more ways for us to partner on the future of agriculture and food. There are a number of ongoing projects in both directions that were spurred by our interactions including expansions, investments and collaborations. “The Missouri agri-tech ecosystem  is built on an $88 billion agriculture industry and provides a gateway to North America. It encompasses startups, mature industry leaders, leading edge research, and academic innovation.
“There are synergies between the two ecosystems. Both have a focus on innovative solutions to the future of food and farming and a willingness to ask the difficult questions and work together towards answers.
“We are looking to create more collaborative opportunities that benefit Missouri, the UK and the entire planet.” If you would like more information about this mission contact Becky Dodds becky.dodds(@)agritechenew.wpengine.com

New Farming Investment Fund welcomed by Agri-TechE

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE
Farming Investment Fund
Automated harvesting of soft fruit is one of the technologies potentially eligible for funding under the new Farming Investment Fund

The government has announced (30th November 2020) the launch of a Farming Investment Fund to support innovation and productivity.  This will be in the form of grants  for farmers to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure with the potential to transform business performance.
Agri-TechE director Dr Belinda Clarke welcomes support for farmers that will encourage adoption of new technologies, she comments:
The proposed new Farming Investment Fund, we hope, will help de-risk the investment in new technologies which we see is often a barrier to uptake by farmers. Key to its success will be ease of access and the type of impact metrics which will be sought by Defra to establish the success of the scheme.
“We hope the outcomes will be assessed by meaningful metrics which are relevant to farmers, as well as relatively simple to capture”
The type of eligible investments may include: –

  • on-farm water storage infrastructure
  • robotic or automated technology
  • technology to improve animal health and welfare
  • equipment for processing agricultural products, which may help farmers to streamline or diversify their businesses.

This funding is in addition to an increased investment in a programme of farmer-led R&D projects to trial and demonstrate viability of new and existing technologies. These technologies will be selected to address immediate on-farm productivity challenges as well as research into how agriculture can meet its longer term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero.
Example projects could be trialling new feed additives or demonstrating the integration of autonomous farm machinery.
The fund was announced as part of a package of measures to support the transition from the Basic Payment Scheme towards the new Environmental Land Management scheme which is designed to incentivise sustainable farming practices. 
More information is available here