A series of hi-tech innovations with potential to make Welsh farming more efficient and productive will come together under one roof at this year’s Royal Welsh Show.
Following the success of the ‘Tomorrow, Today’ exhibition in 2013, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has joined forces with Farming Connect again this year to establish an exhibition of innovation in agriculture showcasing everything from innovative engineering technology to dung beetles. But also this year the projects of the Farmer Innovation Fund will be showcasing their innovative projects intended to increase production whilst reducing farming’s negative impact on the environment.
“The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has played a leading role in the advancement of science, research and education in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and conservation since its formation in 1904. Innovation and new technologies will play an increasingly important role within our industry and we are proud to support this initiative which will offer practical knowledge of value to farmers and landowners” said John T Davies, Chairman of the RWAS Board of Directors.
“Innovation also plays a large role in the society’s Sir Bryner Jones Award this year.” continues Mr Davies. “Contenders for this prestigious accolade are submitted through the society’s advisory committees and winner will be deemed to be the best person in Wales who is effectively applying modern technologies to improve and enhance good husbandry and management of their farming enterprise.”
The Exhibition will take place in the Green Pavilion during the four days of the Royal Welsh Show and will also include a series of daily seminars. The nine companies and organisations selected by the Tomorrow, Today Exhibition Selection Panel include the latest bolus that continually monitor the core body temperature of the dairy cow from Bella Ag Bolus for early prognosis of diseases and metabolic disorders; the initiative Transition 80/20 that raise awareness of the importance of transition cow management and its effect on herd performance; and the first online livestock trading system Sell My Livestock that was launched earlier this year.
An on farm innovation product called Tidy Tryc that is designed to carry hay / straw but also be towed behind a quad bike; an off road machine from Off-Road Engineering Ltd called HexHog that allow wheelchair users to access land independently and safely as part of their work; and Dung Beetles Direct that sell bespoke ‘packages to landowners to break down dung and reduce pasture fouling as part of sustainable land management will also be featured.
British Research will be attending with their Smart Box Wireless Monitoring for Android that could be used to measure critical level of gases to the humidity within plantations; an innovative app that’s designed by the SWARM Knowledge Hub to help farmers to value their slurries and manures; and NEWTainer which is a product that optimises the use of waste heat from the CHP (Combined Heat and Power) units and other heat sources.
This year, the exhibition will also showcase the projects underway by nine successful applicants of the Farming Connect Farmer Innovation Fund, a new initiative launched by Menter a Busnes for Farming Connect. These projects aim to address ‘real’ on farm situations as they grapple with improving production efficiencies whilst also endeavouring to protect the environment. The projects selected range from improving productivity, soil nutrient planning and improving the performance of finished lambs through to new opportunities for farmers converting to dairy enterprises.
Eirwen Williams of Menter a Busnes, which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government, said the exhibition aims to promote and encourage innovation in UK agriculture and help facilitate the uptake of new technologies at the grass roots level.
“We are delighted to be involved with the initiative,” she said, “as fostering innovation is a key aim of Farming Connect and we are constantly looking for new ideas and technologies that will contribute to the development of a strong and vibrant farming industry here in Wales.’’