Agriculture 4.0 breaks the surface at LAMMA

Written by Justin Roberts from Agriland

Agriculture 4.0 is the term now being given to the wave of digital technology which, we are informed, is going to revolutionise the way that land is farmed.

Whether this school of thought is quite the same as the general label ‘Precision Ag’ is unclear, but there is momentum building to see all that is happening in the world of digitalisation through this new marketing prism.

Digital technology is driving change​

Whatever the philosophical umbrella, it is undeniable that what is presently available, and what is in the pipeline, is going to continue to make a big difference to the workload and management of farms.

At next year’s LAMMA agricultural machinery show to be held at the NEC in Birmingham in January, there will be a Farming 4.0 trail.

This is intended to provide an introduction to “the role of data, robotics, autonomous machines and advanced devices, which is becoming more important on-farm, particularly as the UK works towards the net zero goal”.

Four sectors of Ag 4.0​

There are four main areas of development addressed by the organisers, the most obvious of which is autonomous machinery. Alternative energy sources, including renewables, are also placed under this heading.

The second is technology for livestock. This goes beyond robotic milking and covers various sensors and software for aiding in the management of animals.

Bringing it all together​

Third comes big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Just how all the data that is generated is to be integrated into everyday farm management is still very much a work in progress.

The AEM recently noted that it is the area of digital technology in which farmers are showing the least interest.

Finally we have sustainability, which, in a way, covers all of the above as it will be a combination of these various sectors which deliver a farming method that does not consume irreplaceable energy or mineral resources.

Leading companies drive Agriculture 4.0​

The trail is not a standalone exhibit, but rather a series of companies which feel they have something to offer in the way of taking farming forward with digital technology.

These exhibitors cover a broad range of activities and, besides the anticipated software houses, involve British Wagyu beef, Agrifac Machinery and Yara fertilisers.

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...