Bayer is to work with Microsoft to build a new cloud-based set of digital tools and data science solutions for use in agriculture and related industries to support sustainability across value chains.
A number of technologies to help avoid or reduce carbon emissions are in development at the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub, and these were featured in the #ATW21 event hosted by NIAB. From Inspro’s automated bioconverter system using black soldier flies and food waste, to Cambond’s valorisation of low grade carbon materials (such as brewers’ spent grain, straw, hemp fibres and paper waste sludge) for the construction industry, and the hydroponic vertical farming system funded through the Interreg Hy4Dense project.
The REAP 2021 Start-Up Showcase, sponsored by Rothamsted Enterprises, features a line-up of exciting early-stage agri-tech ventures – energy saving for glasshouses; pollination innovation; baits for insect pests; diagnostics for plant health; yield prediction that helps inform decision making on interventions and automation for asparagus and raspberry harvesting.
Fieldwork Robotics is on track to deliver an automated harvester for raspberries in 2022 that will be available for hire on a pay-per-kilo basis with selected growers, and is currently fundraising to speed its development.
To enable farmers to increase pollinator levels, AgriSound is launching an insect listening device called POLY, which displays a heat-map on a smartphone to show insect activity. It highlights pollination deficits on-farm as well as providing proof that interventions increase ecosystem services.
A new molasses bait spray will lure Spotted-Wing Drosophila, an invasive fruit fly, to its death before it has a chance to lay its eggs on fruit crops, and only uses a tiny amount of insecticide against one of UK horticulture’s biggest threats.
Detecting changes in the rate of photosynthesis can give a fast indication of the plant physiological state, resulting from the levels of water, light, temperature or nutrient levels. Gardin has developed an optical phenotyping sensor, a low-cost device that can give the grower timely recommendations for action.