Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year 2019
Syngenta's Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year is back again for 2019, with the same ethos as before, to find the best Farm Sprayer Operator in the UK.
The application of crop protection products is one of the most complex challenges faced on farm. From filling the sprayer, through applying the spray to disposing of the empty containers, the operator is faced with many possible ways of doing the job.
The use of plant protection products is under constant scrutiny, so it is important to use them safely and efficiently in a way that meets crop needs, as well as public, operator and environmental safety.
It’s a tricky balance, but for many operators, it comes as second nature. The Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award aims to recognise this professional approach and help encourage further improvements.
It’s not about having the latest kit. If you can demonstrate ingenuity and an ability to meet these varying objectives by using agrochemicals sensibly, then you are in with a chance of winning.
As always, the competition winner will be announced at the Cereals show in June and there will be a finalists’ dinner the night before.
The Farming Forum are helping to promote the competition and the farmers themselves who take the time enter. It's always nice to see TFF members in the finals!
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Genome edited (GE) crops will be sown in a field this month for the first time in the UK as part of an experimental trial at Rothamsted Research that aims to investigate genetic engineering's efficiency in developing plants to yield more nutritious diets more sustainably.Like traditional plant breeding, genome editing can create new varieties of plants with desired traits by altering their genetic code in a way that could have happened naturally or that does not incorporate genes from another species.
Unlike traditional methods, the new technology is more accurate and can cut development times from decades to months, says Johnathan Napier, a leading pioneer in plant biotechnology at Rothamsted and an advocate for the power of genetically modified (GM) plants to deliver for the public good.
GM Camelina grown in glasshouses has yielded seeds rich in omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, or "fish oils". Credit: Rothamsted Research
Plans to start sowing two GE lines of Camelina plants follow official approval of Rothamsted's application to grow GM varieties of Camelina plants engineered to accumulate omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), a form of lipid that are also known as omega-3...Views: 252Continue reading»
Farming What Needs To Change
Mike Donovan reviews the seminal Hugh Bunting Memorial Lecture given by Professor Amir Kassam titled The Future of Farming: What needs to Change?
The audience learned that, in the opinion of the professor at any rate, it was quite a lot. His concern is that agriculture has moved dangerously off course onto a path of declining productivity, and at the same time has negative impacts both ecologically and socially.
His concern reached tipping point in 2011 when he learned of a dust storm in Germany which caused an 81 car pile-up on the autobahn, and this was after a huge 3m tonne soil plume that took off from Ukraine and dumped on Kent; and the reduction of farm wildlife; the increasing presence of pesticides in food products. His conclusion was that farming did, indeed, need to change if these problems were ever going to be addressed.
Professor Amir Kassam of Reading University
Politics, both national and international, have not helped. The UK refused to sign the EU Soil Directive, so preventing remedial changes being made across Europe. The UK's DFID continued to fund international agricultural research in the name of poverty alleviation which does no produce sustainable production solutions. DEFRA's "Soil Strategy for England" features a five furrow reversible plough with digger bodies, and LEAF's document 'Simply Sustainable Soil Solution' for improving land sustainability displays on the cover page a picture...Comments: 11 Views: 1102Continue reading»
In a sector that is becoming increasingly mechanised and automated, data and digital technologies are now critical controls on the success of a farm. Practices that have historically been limited by time, cost and the inefficiency of human-labour, are being revolutionised by a variety of contemporary technological solutions. Machines and sensors are increasingly being seen within agricultural spaces, and this is facilitating unprecedented improvements in operational efficiencies and accuracy.
This increased reliance on 'the robot' within farming, is inviting the sector and its stakeholders to look outside of agriculture for novel solutions and partnerships. Commercial and industrial technologies are being incorporated into many agricultural uses: drones are helping measure crop growth, autonomous technologies are managing warehouses, and sensors are now letting farmers known when and where fertlizers are needed. Technological applications are increasing and varying on what seems like a daily basis.
We have tried to capture the best of these technologies in the latest issue of our free eBook - Trending Technologies. From a unique sensor system to a macro-data communication system, we explore 5 of the most exciting and innovative technological solutions within agriculture in 2018.
You can access the full eBook for free via the link here: http://challenge.org/ebook/
If you have any questions about the technologies examined, or...Views: 249Continue reading»
Written by cpm
Membership of the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) doubled in 2017, as more than 200 farmers explored ways to push wheat and oilseed rape yields higher. Many farms have seen wheat and oilseed rape yields hit something of a plateau in recent years, but YEN members are leading the way in finding ways to break this trend, says Hutchinsons crop production specialists, one of the YEN sponsors. It was one of the main reasons that Cambridgeshire farmer and contractor Andrew Melton joined the wheat YEN last season and why he will continue in 2018. Farming around 700ha at the family farm plus a further 800ha on contracting agreements in the Wisbech area, he is keen to prevent yields stagnating and push crops closer towards their “biophysical” potential. “I’ve always taken an interest in all aspects of crop husbandry and have been conducting our own farm trials for a few years, so YEN was a good way to take this further by sharing resources and ideas with others. I’m BASIS qualified and do my own agronomy, although have a Hutchinsons agronomist to call on for support.” A relatively small 4ha block of KWS Siskin winter wheat was entered…
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Written by Matt Hopkins
The digital revolution is changing the way agriculture is done.
Rapid population growth, changes in market demands, depleting agricultural land, and significant changes in climate patterns, including much more frequent extreme events — all these factors are pushing agriculture out of its traditional limits, towards a digital age. This trend is supported by governments worldwide.
Local know-how and practices are becoming, in many cases, almost irrelevant and many growers find themselves having to adapt to changing conditions. This might even include abandoning their current cultivation and shifting to growing other crops. In order to survive in their business, farmers must become more efficient and produce more. Making decisions based on a hunch, intuition, personal experience, or guesswork is no longer sustainable.
Variety selection, planting dates, water and nutrient requirements, and pests and disease management are merely a few of the decisions that growers have to make. Each of these decisions is influenced by ever-changing environmental conditions and variability in the field. Plants growing in one section of the farm might grow under totally different conditions in other sections of the same farm.
Making data-driven decisions is, therefore, essential. However, taking all the variable factors into consideration, and doing so...Views: 200Continue reading»
Written by Matt Hopkins
For you sports junkies out there, if I could prove to you that I can correctly predict winners and losers with 80% accuracy, would you use my advice in Las Vegas? I don’t gamble, but according to this article on sports forecasting that summarized the results of professional research, the best methods provided only 54% accuracy. Yet, even with what one might think is an accuracy not much better than a coin flip, hypothetical bets using this model would have provided 16% returns.
Now, what if I told you that professional weather forecasts can correctly predict whether rain will fall on your specific field within the next three days 80% of the time and with almost 70% accuracy out to nine days? Considering how many risks we take on things that are less predictable than the weather, whether it be the stock market, horses, or sports, I posit that there is untapped potential in the proper use of weather forecasts to increase efficiency or productivity, and ultimately improve margins. In the case of useful rainfall predictions, there is potential to reduce risk of over-watering or mistiming a rain-sensitive product application or a host of other operations that can affect yield or...Views: 240Continue reading»
Written by Matt Hopkins
January is a busy month for agricultural companies. It’s a month that strong sales can set the mood for the rest of the calendar year, it’s a month full of trade shows, and it’s a bitterly cold month for most of the U.S. One show outside of agriculture that has been on my radar in recent years has been the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. Most of the 180,000 invitation-only attendees will visit the 4,000 exhibitors and talk about 10-foot wide TVs, voice-control bath tubs, smart toilets, and electric cars that will navigate a parking lot when you summon it with your phone.
Interestingly, with every CES there happens to be more and more precision ag professional that attend. While going to this show was not in my budget this year, I did observe this year’s show via the Internet. One company that exhibited and caught my attention was Kray Technologies originally out of Kiev, Ukraine. The company was founded in 2014 with one goal in mind: providing crop protection for growers affordably, conveniently, and on time. How you may ask: by making aerial application of chemicals available to every farmer.
Their answer is the agricultural drone Kray Protection UAS, which is an...Views: 3Continue reading»
Written by Matthew J. Grassi
An Iowa technology company has unlocked the tremendous potential for automation in agriculture by developing the first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors, according to a press release from AgPR.
Smart Ag officials in Ames announced today they are releasing on a limited basis, the first application for the platform, called AutoCart. This software application fully automates a grain cart tractor, which provide farmers much needed assistance during the demanding harvest season.
Colin Hurd, the founder and CEO of Smart Ag, said the innovative technology will allow farmers to automate their existing equipment and maximize its efficiency and capacity – regardless of manufacturer.
“Farming should no longer be defined by what the equipment industry decides is better or more profitable. We believe agriculture is best when farmers have choices,” Hurd said. “The best way to improve our customers’ operational capacity is to enable them to use automation and driverless technology on their farms. With the correct technology and knowledge, farmers can do the seemingly impossible.”
Over two years in development, AutoCart, along with the tractor automation kit, is a plug-and-play system that automates existing grain cart tractors and is compatible with any brand or combination of brands. The system allows a combine operator to set...Views: 115Continue reading»
Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs has today said she is minded to introduce a whole Wales approach to tackling nitrate pollution from agriculture and improve water quality.
Wednesday 13 December 2017
Following an extensive consultation on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones last year, the Cabinet Secretary said work would get underway with partners over the coming months to develop the right balance of comprehensive regulatory measures, voluntary measures and investment.
This will also include exploring further options to provide land managers with flexibility, where these would achieve the same or better outcomes than a regulatory approach.
Cabinet Secretary said:
“Pure, clean water is vital to human health and well-being, as well as to natural ecosystems and economic development. While nitrogen is a vital nutrient that helps plants and crops grow, high concentrations are harmful. The agricultural use of nitrates is a major source of water pollution.
“We had a considerable interest in our consultation on Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, reflecting the importance of water quality to Wales as a nation.
“Most respondents recognised the significant impact nitrate pollution is having on our waters, businesses and human and environmental well-being throughout Wales and agreed further action was needed.
“Poor nutrient management is still a major problem across Wales....Comments: 94 Views: 4807Continue reading»
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