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‘The field of the future’: The Digital Technology Farms

News - 07.12.23

We have launched an innovative new project involving the use of several connected technologies that can be used to make agronomic decisions at field scale throughout the growing season.

As part of the wider technology strategy being developed by the Agrii R&D team, we have launched an innovative new project involving the use of several connected technologies that can be used to make agronomic decisions at field scale throughout the growing season.

The Digital Technology Farm (DTF) trials are bringing the “field of the future” to our agronomists and growers, today!

The DTF concept is built on the premise that data gathered from a variety of digital tools and technologies in a connected way can help to both support and drive decisions on crop management throughout the year.

The DTF concept provides Agrii the opportunity to develop, trial and demonstrate the latest identified technologies at farm scale to determine their true benefits in a commercial setting in comparison with ‘field of today’ practices.

The project will allow the comparison of standard farm practices alongside data driven decisions to understand how strategies can be integrated with one another to provide growers a triple bottom line benefit.

A key output from the DTF project is identifying where inclusion of technology within an agronomic strategy is most effective and quantifying what value different technologies can bring to farmers today.

Initially the DTFs will be leveraging the use of Skippy Scout, in-situ soil nitrogen sensors and disease prediction models (appsforagri) with other technologies being identified for integration all the time.

As part of the connected ethos RHIZA are playing an integral part to the project through a number of key soil assessments as well as remote sensing.

The agricultural industry faces many pressures including the requirement to justify our decisions for agronomic and nutritional inputs on crops. This is especially relevant when considering environmental targets and aspirations for U.K. agriculture to reach net zero by 2040.

With this in mind, we must understand how real-time data can help us to tackle the above challenges as well as providing economic and time saving efficiencies to farming enterprises.

We are in process of setting up our DTF sites across the country with Revesby Estate (Lincolnshire) being the first to trial the concept from autumn 2023. Our other sites will be at Montrose in Scotland and Throws Farm in Essex.

Further DTF sites will be identified and developed, including within speciality and vegetable sectors, as part of the wider development plan going forward. We look forward to sharing our insights at technology specific open days in summer 2024.

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