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CropTec 2023: Bringing Technology and Agriculture Together

LUKE SAYER

A fast-paced two days flew by at CropTec 2023, this year held at Stoneleigh’s NAEC. Revealing a wide range of technologies available to farmers today, it attracted a diverse crowd including industry professionals, tech enthusiasts, and farmers proactively seeking advanced solutions. 

The exhibition floor resembled a tech landscape, featuring an array of exhibitors from the Agri-Tech scene. Spanning cutting-edge tools for precision agriculture, to soil health management and data-driven solutions. Smart sensors to drone technology and biostimulants, all highlighting the full spectrum of modern innovations available to farms today. 

With the wet drilling season muddling on, some farmers were attending their fields, however those who could make the event did so to increase their knowledge and scout for opportunities, which made for a hugely engaged audience.  

There is clearly a palpable interest in the industry for integrating tech into farming practices. 

What’s on Farmers’ Minds? 

Many of the challenges facing the industry today, including input and output volatility, were referenced conversationally as some of the factors necessitating efficiency across farming operations. And technology is being seen as the solution for achieving this. 

Navigating this technological maze remains crucial, as does the emphasis for retaining on-farm value. Farmers are faced with a range of tools to meet their needs and are tasked with choosing wisely and learning to utilise them.  

The common decision growers were making was “what’s nice to have, and what’s a must have?”  

It’s increasingly important in today’s climate to protect your bottom line. Nobody wants to spend money on a shiny tool that adds little real-world value. Finding solutions which enhance a farming operation and can return on investment is the crucial angle.  

As Jack Smith of AG Wright said - “Solutions must show a return on investment and a return on your time.” 

Farmers are rightly asking which new technology is going to integrate properly with their operation and ultimately drive efficiency and value for their farm.  

YAGRO Data Analytics – Top 3 Questions We Were Asked by Farmers. 

1 – How Easy Is It to Upload My Data? 

Since our recent Farmplan integration, it’s easier than ever. Once in Gatekeeper’s analysis module simply click ‘Field Applications Powered by YAGRO’ and the relevant data is formatted automatically, enabling a seamless upload.  

However, for farmers using other Farm Management Software, we can receive data from a wide variety of sources. Our dedicated Customer Support Team are on hand to make this as easy as possible for our customers. 

2 – What Do You Mean by ‘Farm Data’? 

It’s easiest to think of it as farm records. Think of all the records you keep for spray regimes, seed treatments, yields, telematics, invoices … All these records comprise ‘farm data’ and can be transformed into a powerful tool for improving an operation when cleaned, structured, and verified.  

3 – Is This the Same as Farm Benchmarking? 

We enable farmers to benchmark themselves against market medians, and optionally with other likeminded farms should they chose to. However, this is only one empowering aspect of our platform. The insights we offer farmers include crop, variety and field level analysis, plus historical and real-time performance tracking. In addition to our new budgeting feature – our tools go way beyond pure farm benchmarking.  

The Value of Farm Data 

One of the notable seminars at CropTec 2023 was “Connecting Bold Thinkers in a Time of change: Real Stories from Boots on the Ground.” During which Jack Smith, Farms Director at AG Wright, discussed how YAGRO’s platform has enabled him to begin fully utilising his farm data, describing it as an “innovative way to add value and optimise costs and margins.” 

Conclusion 

YAGRO’s commitment to prioritising the practical needs of farmers was reaffirmed. We strive to be a farmer-first organisation that solves real-world problems facing growers today, and the interactive demos we were offering were the perfect opportunity to display how our platform can achieve this. 

CropTec 2023 certainly served as a testament to the ever-evolving landscape of agricultural technology. We would like to thank the team at Agri-Connect for organising another fantastic event. 

Luke Sayer joined our Marketing Team in March 2023. With a background in the Arable Trials sector and a First Degree in English, Luke is responsible for writing our articles and handling press relations. His journey in agriculture began in 2008, when he worked his first harvest. Over the next 15 years, Luke worked a dozen harvest seasons - becoming a full-time Arable Trials farmer from 2019 to 2023. He has farmed every type of cereal plus pulses and break crops, but specifically focused on developing better beta-glucan levels in Oat varieties. In his YAGRO articles, Luke emphasises the crucial role that data and technology play in modern agriculture. He believes that listening and responding to farm data is the surest way to increase sustainability and efficiency in this ever-evolving industry.