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18 June 2017 10:03:09 |Machinery and Equipment,Market Reports,News,Products

Agriculture needs 'serious but sensitive' application of new technology, report says


The report says technology needs to be put at the heart of agriculture to boost productivity

The report says technology needs to be put at the heart of agriculture to boost productivity

A far-reaching report which details how developing technology can advance farming was launched at the Royal Three Counties Show in Malvern, Worcestershire.
The report follows extensive consultation with a range of experts from the fields of science, academia, horticulture, arable and livestock farming, land management, ecology and politics.
MEP Anthea McIntyre, a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, is publishing the report.
She presented a copy of the report to the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove at the Royal Three Counties Show.
It comes as news that a recent report highlighted how 'smart farming' and technological advances can be embraced in order to support the growing human population.
'Heart of agriculture'
Technological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture sets out a range of recommendations for putting technology the heart of agriculture in the UK and Europe to boost productivity and protect the environment.
Key evidence was gathered at a round-table conference last month in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, and in reports from John Chinn, Chairman of the UK's Centre for Applied Crop Science, and the Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University David Llewellyn.
Harper Adams has pioneered precision agriculture which enables heavy machinery to follow so-called digital tramlines on farmland in order to minimise damage to soil health and water management.
One of the university's projects aims to be the first in the world to plant, tend and harvest a crop by only using autonomous vehicles.
The new environment secretary Michael Gove and Anthea McIntyre MEP at the Three Counties Show

The new environment secretary Michael Gove and Anthea McIntyre MEP at the Three Counties Show

'Mankind's future'
Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said nothing is more important to mankind's future than agriculture and how the world feeds an 'ever-growing number of hungry mouths' across the globe.
She said: "And nothing is more important to agriculture's future than the serious but sensitive application of new technology, chemical and genetic innovation and the harnessing of emerging digital, biological and physical science.
"If we are to feed millions more every year in a way that is ecologically and economically sustainable, we need to square the circle that puts farming efficiency at odds with the environment, public health and bio-diversity.
"The key to achieving that is technology. Not just more technology but more-effective, more-accessible and more-affordable technology.
"Our widespread consultation highlighted many key opportunities including increased used of robots and drones, driverless tractors, more-accurate application of pesticides and better rural broadband. Deteriorating soil quality and reduced nutritional qualities in food were among the challenges flagged up.
"I believe our recommendations can play a major part in pushing the advance and harnessing of technology to the front of the agriculture and policy agendas."



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