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‘Precision Farming’ technology introduced at agri-event

Posted 16 June 2009

Harper Adams University College this week hosted a successful seminar that introduced delegates to groundbreaking new technology for the remote measurement of soil conditions.

Delegates included farmers and agronomists, predominantly from the West Midlands, who were given an overview of precision farming, the benefits associated with it, and the commercial remote sensing systems already available.

The seminar included glasshouse and field demonstrations of remote sensing technology, developed in collaboration with The University of Wolverhampton. Following the demonstrations, delegates were asked to discuss and feedback their views regarding the design and application of the technology.

Dr Andrea Humphries, Lecturer in Sustainable Technologies at Harper Adams, said: “An invaluable element of the seminar was gaining delegate feedback about their views of the technology developed with The University of Wolverhampton. This feedback is essential in order that a remote sensing system is developed in response to end-user needs”.

Dr Humphries added: “We believe remote sensing technology is an important tool for UK agriculture, benefiting agri-businesses through improved farm management and ultimately reducing inputs and costs.

“The potential to apply this type of technology in agriculture is wide-ranging, from measuring nutrient status in soils for effective fertiliser application, to monitoring soil moisture to help assess when to pick grapes for winemaking.”

Following the seminar, Harper Adams University College and The University of Wolverhampton plan to work more closely with up to 10 rural businesses in the West Midlands to discuss how the technology developed could be used.

The collaborative project to develop the remote sensing technology demonstrated during the seminar is funded by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM).

For more information contact Dr Andrea Humphries by email ahumphries@harper-adams.ac.uk or by telephone 01952 815387

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