Agri-Tech Week 2022 round-up
Agri-Tech Week offered a great opportunity to get out, feel the pulse, gain insights, and – most importantly – talk to people with a shared passion for making a difference.
Below we try to give a taster of the week – the Start-Up Showcase, the REAP Conference highlights and a round-up of the many fantastic events across the week hosted by Norwich Research Park, Rothamsted Research, RNAA, Cranfield University, CHAP, ADAS, NIAB, and University of Essex.
A big thank you to everyone that participated, presented, coordinated and supported – you are all heroes.
If you missed collecting your BASIS points for any events you attended, you can do that here.
The ones to watch - smart ideas for big challenges
- Tremap – The first global platform for tree recording for land managers that engages citizen scientists to ground-truth satellite imagery. Read more.
- SugaROx – A novel biostimulant that protects wheat yields by 40% after drought. Read more.
- Deep Planet – AI to help vineyard growers improve decision-making with a two-week prediction window. Read more.
- ALVÁTECH – A solar powered on-farm water treatment device that reduces salinity by 50% while improving soil health. Read more.
- Antler Bio – A tool for livestock breeders and farmers that analyses the gap between genetic potential and actual performance of dairy cows, tripling the amount of produce while reducing methane production. Read more.
- WASWARE – A seed protection that increases germination, repels pests, enhances growth and leaves no chemical residues. Read more.
- FLOURISH – An alternative to antibiotics that makes ‘bad bacteria’ self-destruct and that is applicable to many diseases – it can reduce tomato canker by 99% and double the yield. Read more.
Making sense of agriculture at REAP
“Now is the time for agrifood to take a lead in finding the solutions, and it is exciting,” said Elizabeth Fastiggi of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in her keynote address at REAP – and this was embraced by the presenters, exhibitors and delegates at the conference.
Here is a snapshot of the feedback:
“Genuinely a really good event – well worth making the trek from Shropshire!”
“I had many people come up and chat with me after my talk including a short interview with Anna for Farming Today.”
“The highlight for me was definitely the closing farmer insights panel – cracking input from Ian Beecher Jones, Peter Mason and Andrew Peel.”
Highlights of Agri-Tech Week from across the region
Monday: Norwich Research Park: Field applications and opportunities using genetic technologies
As the Genetic Technology bill returned to Parliament, this Norwich Research Park event was a timely opportunity to look at the potential that gene editing offers in speeding up resilience to drought and disease. There was also a glimpse of the future with a discussion on innovation at the interface between precision agriculture and precision breeding.
Wednesday: Rothamsted Research: Data in agriculture
From automated identification of flying insects, control of blackgrass, field-edge yield decisions and farm digital twins, it’s clear that the world needs a new, better relationship between data and information users. Progress towards this goal at Rothamsted Research was discussed in this lively event.
Wednesday: RNAA: From grass to glass: robots make milking easier
Ten percent of cows in UK are now milked by robot, offering collation of individualised data for each cow and personalised welfare. But not all breeds are suitable, offering the potential to further improve efficiencies through precision breeding.
Thursday: Cranfield University and CHAP: Scaling of agricultural innovation
Getting from concept to market is a difficult transition. David Rose of Cranfield described how ‘co-design’ can help to de-risk commercialisation, and two agri-tech companies described their journeys.
Thursday: ADAS: Innovation in post-harvest management of fresh produce
Cooling cannot on its own eliminate post-harvest loss. Hassan Bagheri of ADAS and colleagues described some of the new technologies that are emerging, such as smart labelling systems that by enabling produce to be tracked from field to shelf, provide the opportunity to ensure optimal conditions at every point in the value chain.
Friday: NIAB: Farming Resilience – How Can Greater Crop Diversity Contribute On-farm in the Face of Climate Change?
NIAB has been researching little-grown crops with huge potential, such as triticale (a wheat hybrid), apricots, haskup (a superberry), and hazelnuts – ranking them by risk and market potential. With changing climate and consumer tastes new opportunities are being created to diversify.
Friday: University of Essex: AI and Robotics for Smart Farming-Above, Below and Around
Fruit picking is a skilled job, requiring speed and gentle handling and knowledge of ripeness levels. Each retailer has different requirements for sweetness and shelf-life, adding complexity to marketing of this perishable good. Soft robotics and machine vision are improving – researchers at University of Essex discussed the status and market readiness of the technology.
Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing giving members 90 days free access to research database
Special offer for Agri-TechE members: 90 days free access to a digest of the most recent and relevant agri-tech research. Over 1,800 chapters from over 4,000 internationally recognised experts.
Rob Burleigh of Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing explains: “Members will be able to search the database and curate their own alerts for information particularly relevant to them. Titles of particular interest at the moment cover soil carbon sequestration, pollinators and crop sensors. Those involved in the livestock sector there is poultry flock health and poultry meat quality, as well as another new book focussed on pig herd health and production.”
The company was exhibiting at REAP 2022. One Agri-TechE member was delighted to discover Professor Watkins’ book (Advances in postharvest management of horticultural produce): “It’s great. All the key information is included, so I don’t have to waste time looking elsewhere for the key research – it’s all here in one place.”
Thank you to our partners for Agri-Tech Week 2022
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