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Farmer Insights Panel at REAP 2022

Agri-TechE Article
Agri-TechE

Andrew Peal has recently taken on the role of Farm and Estate Manager at Salle Farms in Norfolk and we are delighted that he will be joining Peter Mason, Farm Manager at Uphouse Farm, and Ian Beecher-Jones of JoJo’s Vineyard and Digital Vineyard on the Farmer Insights Panel at REAP.

The Farmer Insights panel, which gives farmers an opportunity to share their experiences and views of agri-tech developments, is chaired by Tina Barsby OBE.

Data insights reveal ‘five golden days’ – Andrew Peal, Salle Farms 

Andrew Peal - REAP 2022

Andrew has worked abroad in Egypt, Sudan and Serbia before returning to the UK to manage a number of farms in the Brecks, in Norfolk. These farms were growing largely irrigated crops which included high value vegetables.

Salle Farms, along with three other major Norfolk farming businesses – NE Salmon, the Holkham Estate and Raynham Estates – are part of the Catalyst Farming Programme, which aims to share data and best practice and benefit from the analytical insights revealed by information sharing. The results were discussed in an Agri-Tech Week event in 2021, where it was reported that pooling and analysis of data has revealed an optimum time window for crop establishment and where maximum gross margins are likely to be made – the ‘Five Golden Days’.

Andrew is keen to continue the work done at Salle with academics looking at ways to minimise the farm’s impact on the environment and to gain greater value from inputs applied.

Precision farming to reduce input costs and drive efficiencies – Peter Mason, Uphouse Farm

Poultry farmer Peter Mason is passionate about sustainability and innovation in the agricultural sector, always striving for new efficiencies in the day-to-day and long-term farming practices.  He says: “Broiler farming is a high-input high-output business. Soaring input costs and ever-increasing pressure for environmental sustainability are two huge talking points in our industry.

“Feed is our largest input, making up around 70% of the cost of each flock, simultaneously being responsible for around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the poultry sector. That makes our Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) one the biggest driver of both economic and environmental sustainability.”

Peter is a big believer in precision farming, taking a data-driven approach to improving performance across the farm’s broiler business.

“I am excited about the potential of data-led and data-driven decision-making for the poultry industry and think we can do more in terms of using the data available. We have access to a huge amount of data, and I would like to be able to analyse this in more depth to understand better what we need to change and then see that applied in practice.”

Ian Beecher-Jones, JoJo’s Vineyard and Digital Vineyard

Ian Beecher-Jones

Ian established JoJo’s Vineyard in 2019 and has been developing a ‘Digital Vineyard’, which integrates precision viticulture techniques with the real-world vineyard using RTK level tools and techniques.

Ian explains: “My background is precision agriculture from a broadacre perspective, so when we started to plant up the vineyard about four years ago, I was keen to introduce automation, as a number of tasks, especially mowing and under-vine management, are very labour intensive. However, to enable this there is a need to digitise the vineyard accurately and correctly and make a representation that is shareable, so whoever we are working with – drone, robot or satellite providers – can have access to the digital infrastructure of the vineyard.

“We are working with the EU-based i4Trust project (i4trust.org) to create a digital twin of the vineyard. We are using an RTK surveying tool that creates a hyper-local GPS grid of the vineyard, showing every post and every vine.”

Ian will be discussing progress at REAP 2022.

Read more from Ian here.


REAP 2022: Making Sense of AgricultureREAP 2022: ‘Making Sense of Agriculture’ – Tuesday 8th November 2022 

From yield mapping and precision livestock through to digital twins and cloud computing, at REAP 2022 we will be exploring the technology and looking at the implications from a field to landscape level. Making technology farm-centric is core to Agri-TechE’s mission so a key feature of the conference will be a panel of farmers and producers discussing the emerging technologies and future scenarios.

reapconference.co.uk