Farmers are having to do more and more as the labour force declines. How do you cope, never mind grow your business? Technology is increasingly the go-to solution and there is an agritech revolution underway.
Opportunity North East (ONE) is leading a new agritech programme to drive the adoption and development of digital technology solutions in north east Scotland’s farming sector and the wider food and drink supply chain.
The ONE Agritech Programme for future farming technology will demonstrate how the practical application of digital solutions in arable and livestock enterprises improves profits, meets the challenge of net-zero carbon emissions and take the drudgery out of statutory recording requirements.
The programme is supported by the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF) and ONE is working with SAC Consulting and SAOS on its delivery.
Starting in January, the project will identify farmers’ common challenges; establish two demonstration farms in Aberdeenshire, where technology will be deployed and applied to increase performance; deliver an agritech showcase event that brings farmers, the supply chain and tech developers together; and share best practice across the sector to drive the adoption and development of agritech solutions.
The search for demonstrator farm hosts has started and interested farmers or farm managers are encouraged to contact Jim Booth at SAOS (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details. An online event is planned for 12 January for all those interested in becoming a demonstration farm.
Peter Cook, Director of Food, Drink and Agriculture at ONE, said: “Digital transformation is critical to maintaining the region’s leadership in low-carbon primary production. New technology is allowing us to monitor and measure crops and livestock very precisely – down to square metres and individual animals, even in very extensive farm situations. The demonstrator farms will try out new kit and put in place the systems to react to the data. Examples include autonomous machinery, identifying crop stress early, making decisions on mapping data, spotting early signs of pneumonia, auto-shedding animals at target weights, linking performance to breeding, cutting heavy fuel use and much more. Being a demonstrator farm will give the business insights to all the digital options and showcase the positive impact agritech can have on performance. Ideally, we will end up with participating farms that reflect the region’s strengths in both crops and livestock.”
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