Agri-Tech Week 2021 round-up
The time for action is now – and Agri-Tech Week 2021 demonstrated that challenge is an opportunity for change.
We heard inspirational stories from farmers, researchers and technologists about innovation in the field and lab that will not only improve efficiencies but also enable us to use fundamental resources, such as light, water and soil in new ways.
Agri-Tech Week 2021 attracted participation from across all time zones, including a presence in the REAP International Café from Abu Dhabi, North Carolina, Singapore, Western States of US, Netherlands and Missouri – demonstrating that there is appetite and funding for agri-innovation across the world coming into the UK.
REAP this year demonstrated the opportunities in the agri-tech ecosystem right now – talk to the team about making the most of them!
Monday: Precision Nutrition
Increasing fertiliser prices and the ambition to achieve net zero have focussed attention on the importance of good nutrient management – particularly Nitrogen fertiliser Use Efficiency – and its financial and environmental benefits. Recent developments in the tools and strategies that are available to help farmers reach that goal were discussed at the ADAS event.
“A collaborative approach is vital,” explained Stuart Catchpole, investment manager at New Anglia, the local enterprise partnership (LEP) for Norfolk & Suffolk.
This event focussed on case-studies of the Eastern Agritech Growth Initiative, including Fielding Farm Cottage and AgriGrub Ltd, and Dr Louise Sutherland discussed CERES, a collaboration between five UK universities and three agricultural research institutes highlighting major inward investment opportunities in the region’s agri-food sector.
Tuesday: Robotic Highways
Robotic Highways is – for the first time – demonstrating multiple robotic systems on-farm, and between them the robots have travelled over 8,000km since March. Amid the huge success remain some technical challenges which were discussed at the University of Reading event.
Wednesday: REAP: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture
Timeliness is everything, says farmer John Barrett, Director of Sentry and Chair of the Agri-TechE Stakeholder Group. John introduced the eighth REAP, hosted by Agri-TechE, which included a discussion of where agri-tech to manipulate time could improve productivity and reduce environmental impacts. Revisit:
Start-Up Showcase – meet exciting technology companies
Emerging agri-tech – inspirational glimpse at cutting edge research
International Café – funding & support for international expansion
Sofa Session – experts from across the ecosystem provide perspectives on the challenges and opportunities
Thursday: Sustainable Agriculture
“An open science approach enhances data integrity. It fosters transparency, encourages cooperation among researchers to accelerate scientific discovery, and realises the benefits of research much more rapidly,” explained Dr Joe Win of the Sainsbury Laboratory, who joined speakers from Earlham Institute, John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia in this Norwich Research Park event.
Thursday: Identifying golden days
The “Five Golden Days” in the farming year are becoming easier to spot with historical data, according to Catalyst Farming data scientist Dominic Swan: “The trick now is to ensure we are ready for them.”
This event was hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and showcased a unique partnership of data sharing and benchmarking across four major Norfolk farming businesses
Friday: Carbon avoidance or carbon capture?
“What is the best strategy for Net Zero in agriculture?” The final Agri-Tech Week event of 2021, hosted by NIAB, showcased approaches to reducing emissions using innovative tech-based solutions, and different agricultural practices to capture and/or storage carbon and nitrogen and to improve the efficiency of water use. A number of the technologies are currently in development at the Eastern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub near Soham.
A big thank you to our REAP sponsors
BASIS points for members and newsletter readers
You can still claim your BASIS points for events you attended during Agri-Tech Week – a total of 13 points were on offer so make sure to claim now on our website.
Many of our events attract BASIS points. If you are BASIS registered, you can also collect 2 points (up to a maximum of 8/yr) for receiving our newsletter and all staff in our member organisations can claim 2 points/yr for membership.To claim your BASIS points for the newsletter, use reference CP/111935/2021/g on the BASIS website.