The CropTec Show 2017

Join Keith this November at The CropTec Show. Registration is free for all those who pre-register before the event.

Technology is key to overcoming challenges

Keith Challen, Belvoir Farming Company, Leicestershire

  1. What technology is your business looking at adopting over the next 5-10 years?

Currently we’re very happy with the system and technology in place. Our change to 12m Controlled Traffic Farming has gone really well and we already use a range of technology, such as RTK for guidance and section control, variable rate drilling, and mapping of the whole farm.

You never know what developments are around the corner, so if something comes along that makes the job easier or more manageable we will consider it.


  1. Where should R&D manufacturers focus attention?

Improving efficiency and identifying problems early to justify the most appropriate action is a key area.

As product stewardship and application guidelines become more stringent our agronomic approach must be more carefully managed. Disease control is also far more preventative than curative, so any tools (such a remote imagery, or in-field monitoring) that help assess threats before symptoms are visible and make more timely spray decisions will be useful.

Regarding varieties, I think breeders are going in the right direction with high-yielding cereals featuring good disease resistance, which reduce the pressure on spray timings.

Our biggest concern is verticillium wilt in oilseed rape, which is a legacy from an old wheat-rape rotation and was worse than cabbage stem flea beetle for us last year. That’s where I’d like to see breeders make more progress.


  1. What have you enjoyed about The CropTec Show and why is it worth attending?

The ideas and information I get from CropTec have a big influence on what we do on the farm. There’s such a broad cross-section of companies and information available it’s often the things you’re not expecting to see that are most interesting, so I always go with an open mind.

I particularly enjoy the seminars, which provide a lot of useful, interesting information.

When you consider the challenges, we face from Brexit and the uncertainty around agchems like glyphosate, any assistance we can get from the latest technology can only be positive. Agriculture is an industry with capacity to absorb a lot of new technology.

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