With 32% of farmers most intrigued by robotic and data agri-tech developments, leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is devoting its LAMMA stand to helping farmers understand the range of innovative agri-technology becoming available.
Fast-developing agri-tech, from robotic pickers to fitness trackers for cows, has the potential to make UK farms more profitable while benefiting the environment and animal welfare, according to a new report compiled by NFU Mutual.
NFU Mutual agri-tech specialists Fang Wang and Charlie Yorke will be attending the show to discuss agri-tech with farmers and to help them understand the possibilities and potential drawbacks of innovations coming to market.
The NFU Mutual and NFU stand will also feature a hands-on game featuring ‘Little Tom’ – a scaled-down version of a farm operations robot developed by the Small Robot Company. The game will enable stand visitors to try out their skills navigating Tom across a farm course.
Farmers’ developing interest in agri-tech is clearly shown by a survey conducted by NFU Mutual in December 2019, which revealed that 32% of respondents said they were most intrigued by robotic and data agri-tech developments; closely followed by drones (30%) and autonomous tractors (24%).
Fang Wang, NFU Mutual Business Analyst, said: “Our research shows that many farmers are open to investing in agri-tech – but are holding back because of concerns about the risks involved, whether they will choose the right systems, and that new tech will prove durable in farm conditions.
“As the UK’s leading rural insurer, with 110 years’ experience, we are working hard to understand the new systems coming to market so we can work with farmers to put them at the front of the agri-tech revolution.”
NFU Mutual’ s Agri-tech Report, together with a series of videos and podcasts produced to help farmers considering investing in agri-tech, is now available to download on NFU Mutual’ s website:
NFU Mutual’s top tips for farmers planning agri-tech investment:
- Take a long-term approach – start by reviewing the farm’s strategy and then identify how technology and using detailed data could help you achieve your goals
- Explore technology systems that integrate not only the farm’s activities but also its supply chain, creating opportunities for farmers, food processors and retailers to work together
- Keep up to date with developments and ensure you have the management skills to adopt technology and successfully master the opportunities available from data-based farming
- Consider working with other farms, as co-operation can help achieve economies of scale both in the use of new technology and the adoption of a farmer-friendly supply chain
Farm data is an asset – recognise its value and be very careful who you share it with