November 8, 2013
New Technology & Skills Centre Extends Agrii R&D Partnership
Bishop Burton College is delighted to announce its new £3.5 million Technology and Skills Centre will be home to Agrii’s Northern Technology Centre in a major extension of the current research and development partnership between the two industry knowledge transfer leaders.
The impressive building, currently under construction, will house all-new agricultural engineering, construction, mechanisation and technology facilities for the College, providing students with access to the latest technology in precision farming – including global positioning systems and CAN bus electronics – and refrigeration engineering.
It will also become the centre for Agrii’s multi-million pound expansion in research and development across northern England and Scotland, headed-up by newly-appointed Northern R&D manager, Jim Carswell. As well as offices and meeting facilities, the unit will include dedicated laboratory facilities linked to the company’s expanded cropping trials programme on the college farm.
Announcing this important development, college principal, Jeanette Dawson, OBE said: “We are thrilled to have extended our partnership with one of the UK’s leading lights in arable research, development and technology in such an emphatic way.
“Beyond hosting such a high profile and exciting new centre, we will gain tremendously from our students’ exposure to and involvement with the very latest in agronomic science and technology development. This will reinforce their understanding of the way the practical skills they’re learning fit into the much bigger picture of ensuring food production meets the major challenges of the future. In turn, it will help prepare them for an active role in helping drive forward the improvements in crop yield, quality and profitability that are vital to doing so.
“The work we’ll increasingly being undertaking here and across sites from Inverness to Lincoln is focused firmly on bringing the gap between science and commercial crop production practice in the most effective ways possible,” explained Jim Carswell, who brings a wealth of crop research and technical expertise to his new role.
“This season we have no less than 1400 plots of winter wheat, 1200 plots of winter oilseed rape and 350 plots of winter barley in the ground at Bishop Burton. As well as assessing new varieties, new chemistry and new nutritional ideas, we’re exploring the value and management of a range of exciting crop traits and agronomic techniques.
“Impartial research has been at the heart of Agrii from its inception. Our over-riding aim is to provide the intelligence our northern agronomists and their growers need to consistently improve the profitability of the crops they produce for both mainstream and added-value markets. Doing this sustainably with an ever more restricted arsenal of crop protection chemistry makes the thoroughly integrated approach to production and advice that has always been our primary concern more important than ever.”