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, it is 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.”
At its REAP conference (7th November) Agri-Tech East features a Start-up Showcase of entrepreneurs handpicked for their innovation and potential to create change in the industry. A selection of these newcomers will be on the CropTec stand and announced nearer the time.
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 will also be included, 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.
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.