Precision Farming Adoption in England

Kurt LawtonEducation, Farmers, International

Survey of arable farmers in England show only 35% have even looked into what precision farming could do for them, according to a recent story in the UK farm magazine Farmers Weekly.

Fertilizer price rise is driving greater interest, as precision applications of typical fertilizer and lime are touted to save approximately 30%. SOYL Ltd, an independent company that provides precision farming advice and services to growers in England and Scotland, is busy promoting GPS-based soil sampling, variable-rate fertilizer application, and a wide-array of manufacturers and technology.

Isobus plug-and-play technology is the buzz-phrase around manufacturers of precision-farming kits, according to SOYL’s Simon Parrington.

“Everyone in the industry is now talking about plug and play – it’s the way forward in my view. If you’re upgrading any of your arable kit, from combines to cultivation equipment, you must talk about compatibility with dealers and reps.”

There are three areas that farmers looking into precision farming should investigate:

  • Sampling. Precision-sampling fields pinpoints data that can be used to variably apply fertiliser. SOYL has has already precision-mapped 15% of the entire UK cropped area, giving 750,000 soil samples that provide an idea of variation nationally.
  • Tackling technology. There’s a mind-bending array of manufacturers and options for kit that will apply variable rate. John Deere is the market leader with its Greenstar system, while for implements, Kverneland leads the way with more ISO-ready implements than any other manufacturer.
  • Research and best practice. A recent HGCA survey shows only 35% of arable farmers have even looked into what precision farming could do for them. The HGCA. Be PRECISE project aims to bring precision farming to a wider audience and arm growers with the know-how needed to get the best out of the technology.