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    Short Courses/CPD

    Adopting Precision Technology in Agriculture

    There is great interest from farmers globally around the potential of precision agriculture. Around 60% of UK farmers already use some sort of precision agriculture on their farms, but many farmers are still cautious about costs and benefits of this approach. There is no doubt that there are many benefits, including reduced input costs (e.g. fertiliser, seeds, fuel, water, fuel) as well as the potential for increased outputs and environmental benefits.

    This course aims to fill the gap between the research, science, technology and the farmers who might use new technologies. This immersive course will enable delegates to use information from their own farms/businesses to develop a “Precision Vision” for their own business. This will be achieved by interacting with leaders and influencers in the field of precision agriculture, travelling to the Netherlands to see in practice farms, businesses and research facilities and evaluating the economics and practicalities of implementing the technologies on farm.

    Course aims

    On completion of the course delegates will:

    • Be familiar with the equipment, tools and skills needed to use precision approaches.
    • Be able to evaluate and select precision farming technologies and approaches for the use in a wide range of applications.
    • Be able to assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of precision approaches on farm.
    • Be able to assess the viability of using precision farming technologies to increase the efficiency of existing farming and agribusiness practices.
    • Be able to appraise the return on investment of adopting different technologies.
    • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the socio-economic and environmental impact of precision agriculture both in the UK and Internationally.

    Key Dates

    Closing date for applications is 30th December 2019

    Interviews will be held on 9th January 2020 at Harper Adams University

    First course will run 3 February 2020 at Harper Adams University

    Apply now

    Please visit to find out more about the Worshipful Company of Farmers (WCF). You should also read this document for further course details. If you would like to discuss the course in more detail please contact Simon Thelwell, Course Director on 01952 815086 or email

    If you would like to apply for the Adopting Precision Technology in Agriculture Course please complete the application form and email to Simon Thelwell, Course Director, at


    What will I study?

    The course will be structured around three independent weeks throughout the year. Attendance will be required at all three weeks.

    Week 1.  3 February - 7 February 2020 - Orientation – Based at Harper Adams University

    This week will help develop a better understanding of the critical trends in the global agri-tech industry. It will assist participants to identify the “why” question, by looking at the external agribusiness environment, analysing the underlying trends and dynamics of different sectors including (but not limited to) dairy, arable, red meat, white meat and horticulture. New technologies will be introduced and assessed with class based sessions and visits from companies. The challenges and barriers around adoption will be explored, and the benefits and design of smart and sustainable strategies will be considered around a series of case studies using various scenario planning techniques.

    Week 2.  27 April – 1 May 2020 - Visit to Netherlands in conjunction with HAS University of Applied Sciences

    This week will involve visits to farms and businesses in a different setting where innovations in agri-tech are driving efficiency or environmental performance. These may include Precision Livestock Farming systems, Crop Precision Farming Systems but may also could include the use of agri-tech in horticulture and flower and bulb production.

    Week 3. 22nd June – 26th June 2020 - Evaluation & Adoption. 

    The final week of the course will allow participants to evaluate weeks one and two, having discussed, analysed and seen first-hand the technologies and discussed them with farmers, industry specialists, policy makers and researchers.  This week will explore the “research into practice” dynamic. The course will be delivered at the AgriEPI Centre for Innovation, located at Harper Adams University, which forms part of the Government’s investment in the UK Agri-tech Strategy. The week will involve insightful presentations from and discussion with industry specialists, researchers, and commercial businesses, after dinner there will include a range of influential guest speakers. The week will culminate with a presentation dinner on the Friday evening.

    It is envisaged that this course will produce a group of ambassadors within the agri-food sector who will be able to contribute to debates about the future shape of the industry in the light of the smart-agriculture revolution.

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