Innovation is the key to agricultural efficiencies and productivity, and a number of Agri-TechE members will be discussing developments and emerging technologies within an online seminar programme at Cereals LIVE .
For the first time ever, Cereals will be a virtual event, on 10-11 June. Agri-TechE members have always had a high profile at Cereals but this year a number will be presenting online within the Innovation and Technology Theatre, which is sponsored by the Department of International Trade.
The focus will be on how the latest developments and advice can help producers to create more from less, boosting productivity with the most cutting-edge equipment and advice.
Data and digital innovation
Data is of growing importance on farm, informing decision making and helping producers to focus on efficiencies. This session will include an insight from Matthew Smith, chief product officer at Agrimetrics, into how to get the most from data, the growing market for it and how valuable it is to agriculture.
Drones are increasingly being used to create usable data, as Jack Wrangham at DroneAg will demonstrate. Its new app, Skippy Scout, gives farmers an economical and simple solution to aid crop walking. “It can take farmers less than five minutes to download the app and have their drone going,” says Mr Wrangham.
“All farmers need to crop walk, but it can be time-consuming. However, using Skippy Scout the drone can fly to points in a field and take high resolution photos faster than they could walk – with images sent straight back to the user’s phone.”
Sustainable crop health
Crop health is always a priority for farmers and in this session they can explore how new technologies in crop disease and nutrient management could aid their business.
Looking at soil health will be Angela de Manzanos Guinot from Fungi Alert, explaining the importance of understanding the pathogens in your soil. Olmix’s Chris Gamble will consider the benefits of biostimulants and how they could become a more routine part of the crop health armoury.
Plant breeding innovations
Plant breeding technologies open up a whole world of opportunities for agriculture, in the form of hybridisation, gene-editing and sequencing to create more resilient, productive crops that can drive the future of arable farming.
With speakers including Kim Hammond-Kosack at Rothamsted Research this session will reveal how plant breeding will deliver resistance to pests and disease and how it can address issues of resilience and climate change.
Already a major asset for many UK arable farmers, precision farming is progressing in leaps and bounds. Jonathan Gill at Harper Adams University will provide an update on the Hands Free Farm, giving an insight into the cutting edge of autonomous farming.
Applying precision technology
In this session, farmers will be able to see how precision farming techniques apply in practice, including Professor James Lowenberg-DeBoer from Harper Adams University, who will look at the financial and practical considerations of investing in crop robots. This session aims to answer the practical questions posed by the advancing technology.
Many of the best innovations come from farmers and this session will not only explore some of those, but will also look at research and answers emerging from them.
Liz Bowles, associate director at the Soil Association (partners with Agri-TechE in our Innovative Farmers digestate trial), will describe the impact of the work in their farmer ‘field labs’, and Daniel Kindred at ADAS will be discussing the key effects for farmers emerging from its farming innovation groups.
“Innovations and technology are advancing incredibly fast, so keeping abreast of the latest information isn’t always straightforward,” says event director Alli McEntyre. “With the DIT theatre, the aim is for farmers to find out the latest information, while also coming away with valuable answers to many of the questions they have about this quickly changing environment.”