With our first Pollinator of 2017 (A New Agriculture – What Will the Future Hold?) just around the corner, here is a taste of some of the events that you might have missed over the last 12 months.
The full event reports are available for free to members from our Publications page, but non-members can find out about some of the key points using the links below.
The Good the Bad and the (B)ugly
The benefits and problems of fungi were explored at this Pollinator, together with new ideas of how best to tackle the increasing issue of invading Spanish slugs.
Pipettes and Ploughs: Taking the Lab to the Field
Lab and workshop ideas eventually need testing at field scale – and field observations need to inform lab thinking. This Pollinator explored the concept of the Field Lab and how we could use it to bring together scientists, technologists and growers to test new ideas.
Undercover Agents – New Technologies for Controlled Environment Production
Growing under cover has enabled an extension of the growing season and an increase in quality of many high value crops. This Pollinator saw discussions on new technologies in development to increase efficiency and reduce the costs of growing in a protected environment, including LED lighting, underground urban farming and vision systems to direct robots.
March Special Interest Group:
Opening DEFRA’s Treasure Trove
Bringing together the interests of our Big Data and Remote Sensing and Monitoring Special Interest Groups, this event explored the content, format and opportunities over 8,000 data sets released from FEDRA’s reserves, and how businesses could prepare themselves to benefit.
Read more here.
Rusts and other Cereal Killers
Plant pathology met crop disease modelling in this Pollinator, where growers, farmers, researchers and technologists shared new thinking and practices for disease management and resistance, and how the new technique of field pathogenomics is helping to provide disease screening across larger areas more cheaply and quickly than other methods.
Controlled Traffic Farming: A Direct Line to Healthier Soils?
At this Pollinator we saw first-hand at the NE Salmon farm how Controlled Traffic Farming can make a different to reducing soils compaction, increasing yields and reducing inputs. Benefits already seen include: shallower cultivation with greater tilth, increased number of plant tillers and more plant available water.
May Special Interest Group:
A Sense of Place: Soil Health Meets Geomatics
This event brought together technologists and end-users to find out about using geo-spatial information to see where the problem spots are in your field. The potential power of geo-spatial information in agriculture is far broader than in-field mapping; understanding the location of a field opens up a large number of potential data that can be linked to the field and used for in-field, whole field or multi-field analyses.
September Special Interest Group:
Innovations for Sustainable Intensification
The technologies available to help farmers increase yields without compromising soil quality and environmental factors were discussed at this NIAB and Agri-Tech East workshop. Presentations included technologies that increase yield, deliver variable rates, predict performance, reduce run-off, and overcome hostile environments.
Robo-Cropping – The Potential for Precision Robotics in Agriculture
From delicate “soft” robotics mimicking manual picking, to larger scale precision management in open fields, we discussed the role and potential for robotics in the industry, and the technology and mechanisms needed to ensure they provide the service we need.
Read more here.
Agri-Tech Week 2016
The third annual Agri-Tech Week saw seminars, workshops and activities to promote the east of England as the UK’s innovation hub for agriculture and horticulture – including Agri-Tech East’s own REAP conference.
A New Agriculture – What Will the Future Hold?
Take a New Year look into 2017 and beyond for the agronomy, plant breeding, and agricultural engineering communities. What new technologies and practices – or better use of existing ones – would really make a difference?