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Video transcript: Harvest 2050

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October 2017

Video shows general views of fields with tractors and views of the new technology that is being trialled.

Dr Helen Ferrier, National Farmers Union
“Science generally has the ability to transform the competitiveness and the profitability of farm businesses in the UK.”

Clive Blacker, Precision Decisions Ltd
“As we improve farm communications, as we improve data capturing tools farming is going to change dramatically.”

Dr Helen Ferrier, National Farmers Union
“I think in the next 30 years the advances we see in genetic improvement, in the use of big data, data driven technologies, and also understanding farm systems is where we are really going to see the step changes in the transformation in agriculture production.”

Professor Simon Blackmore, Harper Adams University
“And if we utilise these technologies then we’ve got the ability to make the whole crop production system significantly more efficient than it is now.”

Joe Hodgson, Farmer
“It’s the way things have got to go to keep competitive, lots of new things to think about, lots of new ideas and technology around the corner.”

Title: Harvest 2050 - Transforming Food Production

Video shows a view across the countryside at dawn.

Video shows driverless vehicles being developed and tested.

Professor Simon Blackmore, Harper Adams University
“Instead of using dumb machines we can use smart machines and those smart machines can then help us to achieve what we all want; cheap, efficient, good quality, low impact food.

We’ve developed a robot strawberry harvesting system that not only picks the strawberries but also grades the strawberries at the point of harvest.”

“Another project we’re running is the ‘hands-free-hectare’, which is where we then grow a complete cycle of crop (in this case barley), in one hectare without anybody ever going in that hectare. The machines are in the field running by themselves.”

Video shows a salmon farm and lab testing.

Dr Tom Ashton, Xelect Ltd
“The future of the UK aquaculture industry is going to be entirely dependent on innovation. With an increasing global population and a rapidly increasing demand for seafood the use of modern genetic testing is becoming absolutely essential to drive steady trade gains and to prevent in-breeding.”

“So, by 2050 we expect to see modern genetic techniques being used in the UK by the major salmon farming companies, new companies coming into existence and older companies switching to genetics for the first time.”

Video shows robots and drones being developed and tested, data and aerial farmland.

Dr Ji Zhou, The Earlham Institute
“Here at the Earlham Institute we are looking at different ways that new technologies can help farmers so that they can make a sound decision about the timing of chemical applications and irrigation.”

“Nearly everyone is flying UAV’s and drones nowadays, however, how to extract the meaningful information from this data is the current bottleneck and what we are doing is to utilise the latest image analysis as well as machine learning algorithms and then generating a waning message triggering system. Which means that if, if the crops are under stress that will trigger a warning message - it means that farmers will need to do something for their crops.”

Video shows technology being installed on farm vehicles.

Clive Blacker, Precision Decisions Ltd
“We are currently witnessing in argriculture a new data revolution. Connectivity is the Holy Grail. We’ve been working with some satellite companies to try and develop a new wireless technology solution so that farmers can have connected tractors and sensors in fields that are connected to the internet 24 hours a day. That will allow us a whole new opportunity to start looking at how we can connect vehicles, transfer data and support people in ways that we can only dream of today.”

Dr Helen Ferrier, National Farmers Union
“If we can achieve a genuine partnership between the farming community and the science community we have the potential to transform the profitability and competiveness of farming businesses in the UK.”

Video shows lab testing.

Dr Tom Ashton, Xelect Ltd
“Aquaculture around the world is worth $150 billion dollars. Only 10% of this is currently using modern genetic tools to manage the breeding programmes. There’s a vast opportunity around the world.”

Video shows screens in farm vehicles.

Clive Blacker, Precision Decisions Ltd
“And from the data revolution I’m convinced we are going to see a new engineering revolution, potentially allowing us to change our whole cropping systems.”

Video shows farm robots.

Professor Simon Blackmore, Harper Adams University
“Agriculture robots will have a world-wide impact to make the whole crop production system significantly more efficient, and that’s good for economics, that’s good for sustainability it’s good for society.”

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With thanks:

  • Baltic Farm, Devizes
  • The Earlham Institute, Norwich
  • Harper Adams University
  • National Farmers Union
  • Precision Decisions Ltd, York
  • Xelect Ltd. St Andrews

Produced by Impact Media Specialists LTD for BBSRC.