HomeTechBeyond modern farm machinery: How agri-tech is transforming farming

Beyond modern farm machinery: How agri-tech is transforming farming

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From harnessing smart technologies, AI and data from satellites to enhance crop and land management by enabling real-time tracking and data-driven decision-making; to automation and robotics devices that are solving labour demand issues; to developing precision-controlled growing environments with vertical farming technology. There is a raft of agri-tech solutions that are helping UK farmers overcome today’s challenges in the sector.

In livestock farming, advances in biotechnology and gene-editing technologies are being used to combat disease and improve animal health and welfare. The UK Agri-Tech Centre has been supporting the EPI-HERD project with Antler Bio, which is enabling farmers to tailor their farming system to suit the genetic make-up of their herd using epigenomics and data analysis. Using an AI platform, farmers will have access to information on the prominence of specific genes that can be influenced by environmental factors and will be able to alter factors within their control, such as rations or housing environment, which in turn has the potential to lead to improved productivity. 

We have also been supporting the Breed for CH4nge project which is developing genetic improvement tools to enable low methane sheep farming. Our research has found that ruminant livestock are responsible for 12% of UK farming emissions, and enteric methane contributes 50 – 60% of the carbon footprint of sheep enteprises. The use of genetic technologies to improve lifetime productivity and health of British ewe flock is a key opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of lamb production.

This month, the UK Agri-Tech Centre has become the UK’s largest dedicated agri-tech organisation following the merger of Agri-EPI, CIEL and CHAP. We are supporting hundreds of agri-tech projects across the UK through our networks of expert teams of researchers and industry, involving more than 450 organisations. 

By building even stronger connections between science, R&D and agri-industries businesses and creating greater access to world-class knowledge, funding, expertise and facilities, our mission to to drive agri-innovation at unprecedented levels to meet many of today’s challenges in farming and the agri-industries – and to ultimately drive economic growth in our sector. 

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