Farming is all about decisions, and improving the quality of the information available can make a big difference not just to the yield but, crucially, to the profitability.
Decision support is the theme of Agri-Tech East’s stand at CropTec 28-29th November 2018 at East of England Showground. It is the first time the independent membership organisation has had a formal presence at the show.
Director Dr Belinda Clarke says: “Farming is complex. The market is volatile, the weather is changeable and so is the soil; conditions can vary considerably across a single field. We are now seeing the adoption by farmers of intelligent systems that can predict consumer demand, forecast yield and inform cultivation strategies.
“Our stand will provide an overview of exciting emerging technologies and also those that are already proving their value in the field.”
Three of the exciting newcomers profiled in the Start-up Showcase at REAP conference will be on the Agri-Tech East stand at CropTec:
Receptive Technologies: One person is killed every 11 days in agriculture despite an overwhelming volume of information and process. Farm365 is a new app-based tool that uses a mobile phone to read QR codes on equipment, making it easier to fit health and safety checks into everyday practice, and creates electronic reports that help compliance.
Axomap: The best crisps are made from potatoes that have higher dry matter content; Axomap’s remote sensing drone makes it easier to spot the individual plants that are producing spuds with these desirable qualities.
Nova Extraction: Increasing interest in the use of herbal essences and cannabis oil for health and wellbeing has created a demand for high quality, pure botanical extracts. Early-stage company Nova Extraction has developed the world’s first industrial, off-grid, clean-tech extractor. It is now available for flower, herb and food producers to rent, providing producers with affordable and consistent technology to extract flavours or fragrances in-field.
Also featured will be new Agri-Tech East members, including:
Howseman Agriculture, which is offering a smart irrigation system that uses 25-30 per cent less water than a traditional hose and reel system with a fraction of the labour input. It gained an “Innovation for Water” award at this year’s Lincolnshire Show.
Consus Fresh Solutions, which supports quality assurance and traceability post-harvest. The easy to use software captures information about product quality, storage conditions, labour and packaging and makes it readily available for audits such as BRC Fresh Produce Standards, Assured Produce Standards.
By automating the process, Consus helps fruit, flower and producers to comply with UK and EU regulations, meet the contractual requirements of their customers, save time and reduce waste.
Strong representation of members at CropTec
Dr Clarke continues: “Agri-Tech East was established with the recognition that to create true innovation you need to provide novel solutions to industry problems. By bringing scientists and technologists from different fields together with potential end-users and industry experts we have facilitated the rapid growth of a thriving agri-tech sector.”
Antony Yousefian of smart sensing company 30MHz, which will also be at the show, agrees. Initially his knowledge of farming was limited but they now have a number of clients using low cost sensors to provide real time monitoring of stress in plants. He says: “Innovation and the will to innovate is in abundance in UK agriculture, though sometimes it needs someone to light the match, and this is what Agri-Tech East does best.”
Other members at the show will include: AHDB, BASF, Bayer, Elsoms Seeds, Harper Adams University, Hummingbird Technologies, PGRO, Prodata Weather Systems, Rothamsted Research, RTK Farming, Sentry Limited, Small Robot Company, Syngenta, University of Hertfordshire, University of Lincoln.