2013-03-15 xml twitter
Precision Farming Event 2013

An exceptionally high number of visitors and exhibitors attended this year’s Precision Farming event. Farmers, students, agronomists and contractors were in force looking at the latest systems and services designed to improve accuracy, cut costs and increase efficiency.

“The event has been running for 17 years and we were delighted with the number of visitors considering the dry weather leading up to the event,” says organiser Andy Newbold of FarmSmart Events. “Whether you want to investigate autosteering or understand how to spread fertiliser more accurately, you are a GPS novice or an experienced campaigner, the event has definitely become one of the best places to get advice and guidance about what’s on the market.”

Amazone UX 11200

photo © www.garford.com

It was also the launch pad for Ursula Agriculture’s announcement that it is ready to compete commercially. The company has pioneered a new approach to precision agriculture by delivering, state of the crop intelligence, on time to aid and inform agricultural decision making.

Five new products were launched and Director Steve Keyworth commented; “This is an exciting time for us. We’ve come a long way from our first tentative flights in 2011 to today when we are launching a range of farm intervention products, which we think will strike a chord with farmers, growers and their agronomists.

There’s a lot more to come too in 2013 and we are very excited by the prospects,” continued Keyworth.

The seminars were packed and the programme kicked off with Simon Griffin from SOYL introducing the company’s new performance mapping algorithm.

One simple Performance Map can analyse trends built over a number of seasons from information hidden in a bank of yield maps.

The Performance Map then forms the base for an investigative ‘roadmap’ to improve yields.

Presentations were also given by Clive Blacker from Precision Decisions, talking about how to manage variable canopies for the coming season. Professor Simon Blackmore from Harper Adams University presented the latest developments in Precision Farming, highlighting new technologies such as machine vision, mechanical weeding, laser weeding and unmanned aerial vehicles and Farmer Andrew Martin from Broadstream Farming talked about his experiences with new precision technology.

The exhibition area displayed a wide range of control terminals, GP receivers and systems and visitors were able to talk to suppliers about soil sampling, find out how to map fields to vary fertiliser rates, see systems to control sprayers and spreaders as well as a range of computer software to manage, map and record applications.

The events crop protection partner BASF was promoting its agronomy tools for cereals. Its Green Area Index (GAI) app for use in oilseed rape provides an accurate and consistent assessment of the crops’ green area index (GAI) from a digital photograph. The size of the oilseed rape crop canopy is a critical indicator for several management decisions regarding nitrogen and growth regulation application.

Garford Farm Machinery was promoting a new addition to its hoe range and the latest version of its row weeder, the Mark II. This machine locates individual plants and is able to weed both between the plants and between the rows to give full weed control.

Available commercially later this year it allows remote access to the on-board GreenStar display unit. This means that the operator working on a tractor, combine harvester, self-propelled sprayer or forage harvester can receive immediate, real-time assistance from the fleet or farm manager, or directly from the dealer – for example, to get support for machine and implement set-up (including ISOBUS), optimisation and troubleshooting. With this technology, potential machine downtime or insufficient use of the equipment in the field can be significantly reduced.

Summing up Andy Newbold said: Once again the event provided a great opportunity to find out the latest thinking on making precision farming work and getting to grips with the kit. The plugfest was particularly well received throughout the day, as growers considered their options. This year’s attendance is testimony to farmer’s appetite to learn and the absolute necessity of using every tool to its best on farm.

Precision Farming

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