What are your prediction of trends looking to the next 10 years?
Over the last 10 years, new technology has generated huge amounts of data, which is often in many different parts of a farming business.
I think the game changer in the next 10 years will be getting data to be able to move across systems so farmers can easily manipulate it to really gain long-term value from the data to support them through policy shift which will come as Brexit progresses as and when we have to face into a new Agricultural Policy.
The area I see a lot of promise in isdiversification combining traditional farming with alternative agricultural techniques, such as vertical farming.
There is also significant innovation happening aroundreducing the number of steps in the agri-food supply chain, for example technologies which enable consumers to be closer to and gain deeper insight into food provenance.
I also see more focus on changing skillsets focused around on-farm human machine interfaces, such as how farm workers interact with robotics on-farm.
Key changes will be how technology will be used to manage reporting on regulation and compliance, such as proving which animal was treated with what and when.
The second is using these tools to demonstrate justification of inputs, allowing businesses to continuously monitor their financial outlay, ensuring efficiency, profitability and sustainability.
The third area will be connectivity and data flow between farmers, manufacturers and the supply chain, creating connections which improve the transparency and efficiency between suppliers and customers.
The last is a wider adoption of new technologies, driven by a stronger rural connectivity allowing more growers to benefit from remote access in the field and a greater desire to utilise tools due to early adopters demonstrating the benefits.
For example, variable fertiliser application is widely adopted and we are just at the start of this journey with plant protection products.
I think we will see a greater accelerator of trends as a result of regulatory demand. Increasing restrictions will bring with them a change in the agricultural industry generating more opportunities and interesting technologies which need to adapt to comply.
I see new business and service models helping farmers become more efficient with tools in the field. Environment will also play an even greater role, generating lighter machinery and innovative technology which prioritise soil health, biodiversity and sustainability
As the song goes, “You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout…” We’re telling you why...