Cultivation/Production, Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, Smart Farming, Studies/Reports, Trends

Agronomists should be ‘data interpreters and less field walkers’: Project aims to link technology, knowledge and advice

Farm business profitability and environmental sustainability will become increasingly critical as we move through the next decade of change and uncertainty, requiring resource and a new management approach, says agronomy firm Hutchinsons in the UK.

This means that the current agronomist and grower relationship will need to evolve if these challenges are to be met over the next ten years, and utilising technology will be a significant part of this, recognises Hutchinsons head of Technology & Innovation, Stuart Hill.

“We are being exposed to a plethora of technologies such as data analytics, climate, machine learning, sensors, monitoring, detection systems, autonomy and robotics.

However, there is a need to evaluate which technologies are relevant and ultimately increase productivity and profitability, as well as efficiency, both for the grower and the agronomist.”

The Hutchinsons Helix project aims to do just this and is the first of its kind in the UK; Helix is a unique research project looking at how technologies can be successfully linked with knowledge to deliver a greater level of advice by agronomists to farm businesses.

Focussing on key areas of innovation and technology, the Helix project will act as a central research hub bringing together all aspects of crop production through to field data and input measurement.

From sensors and prediction software, soil management and analysis to environmental aspects such as surveillance and predictive systems, nutrition, input and new trait technologies will also be assessed and developed within the Helix project.

“Growers and agronomists want simplicity, so linking of technologies and knowledge will lead to decision making through a one hub system approach, Omnia.”

According to Hutchinsons, a recent grower survey identified the key concerns for farming businesses over the next 10 years. Among others, it was found that “farmers would expect agronomists of the future to have wider access to information and solutions, become data interpreters, less field walkers and be ahead of the game in terms of skills and technology developments.”

Read the full article on the Helix project on the Hutchinsons website here

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