The CropTec Show  – Innovative agri-technology and the latest agronomy developments

Growers looking to stay abreast of the latest agri-tech developments will be spoilt for choice when The CropTec Show returns to the East of England Showground in Peterborough at the end of November.

The UK’s leading specialist technical and knowledge exchange event will be packed with advanced agronomy techniques and systems designed to help farmers gather key crop information and process it effectively, as well as the latest developments in crop nutrition, crop protection, crop establishment and crop breeding to help maximise yield and quality and underpin profits.

Precision technology

My Data Plant from Kleffmann Group enables the farmer to monitor fields regularly with the help of satellite data which is used to create field-by field-biomass maps every five days.

These maps enable the grower to identify differentiated growth within the field. The maps along with other indices form the basis of variable fertiliser rate strategies which can be easily created by using the farmer’s chosen fertiliser and average dose rates.

Fertiliser application maps can be created regardless of the existing equipment and are suitable for every technology. Farmers without precision technology can use the Crop Navigator app. This displays the biomass and fertilisation maps on a tablet, which, with the aid of GPS, shows current position and the necessary speed to achieve the recommended application rate.

Users can also create variable rate sowing maps within the My Data Plant online portal.

Hummingbird Technologies will display various aspects of its artificial intelligence business, which uses imagery and data analytics from drone and satellite technology, along with proprietary algorithms, to provide farmers with 2cm/pixel maps of their crops at a canopy level, and at critical decision making junctions in the season.

Hummingbird uses the most advanced machine learning and computer vision techniques, delivering actionable insights on crop health directly to the field.

SOYL is launching four new or improved services for growers at The CropTec Show. A five-year satellite imagery archive will be available for all growers through MySOYL, a cloud-based precision data platform. This will enable growers to look back to assess trends and consider the potential impact on final yield when making nitrogen decisions.

Improvements to iSOYL will reduce the entry cost to precision farming. Growers can be up and running with variable rate applications using just an iPad and SOYL’s iSOYL app. A sprayer or drill can be set up for less than £1,000 a spreader.

New functionality this year in MySOYL makes it easier to manage data scouting collected in the field using iSOYLscout, while significant improvements have also been made to the agronomic models used to calculate variable seed maps, delivering even more precise application.

Smart crop-management equipment will be a key feature at CropTec 2018.

A newly released field monitoring system, HOBOnet, from US manufacturer Onset, will be on show on EnviroMonitors’ stand.

HOBOnet gives growers greater visibility into field conditions with near real-time data from wireless sensors, alert notifications, and access via mobile devices. The sensors cover a range of outdoor measurements, including air temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed/direction, solar radiation, and soil moisture/temperature. Data can be accessed via any web browser, whether on a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

Van Walt, a specialist supplier of soil and water environmental research equipment, will be displaying some of its recently launched range of soil moisture probes and data transfer systems.

The range covers small, easily portable handheld probes to networks of telemeterised soil-moisture sensors. These use the technology of the HydraProbe, the most scientifically researched soil sensor available on the market, for extremely accurate and fast soil moisture measurements to integrate irrigation systems to localised water requirements.

Prodata Weather Systems will be showcasing the Davis EnviroMonitor system, a platform that combines weather data with intelligent software to help growers determine the best time to plant, spray, fertilise, and harvest.

EnviroMonitor lets growers add or change almost any sensor required (dozens of the most popular industry standard sensors) to create an affordable field system with cloud-based data and user-friendly software.

This system delivers actionable intelligence by measuring, monitoring, and managing critical field data from remote locations through a network of sensors. Data can be accessed on internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets and computers.

Small Robot Company, a British agri-tech start-up for sustainable farming, today announced that it will showcase two prototypes of its autonomous robotic farming service at CropTec.

The company will showcase its Harry digital drilling robot prototype and an early version of its Wilma Artificial Intelligence (AI) interface. Harry will accurately place seed individually in the ground at a uniform depth to within 2cm accuracy, creating a plant level map showing the location of each seed.

Wilma is the core of an intelligent, autonomous crop management system for arable farming. She is a sophisticated, granular ‘operating system’ of crop and soil monitoring and care which will enable each plant in the field to be cared for individually, with no waste.

Directed by Wilma, the robots will only feed and spray the plants that need it, giving them the perfect levels nutrients and support. This will cut chemicals and emissions by up to 95%.

Visitors to CropTec will also be able to update themselves on progress with the world-leading Hands Free Hectare (HFHa) project, run by Harpers Adams University and Precision Decisions to develop and test novel crop production techniques using only specialist vehicles and drones.

HFHa has completed its second cereal harvest, and is now putting a cover crop into the hectare, to protect the land as the team use it as a test space to improve our technology, which is not possible while growing cereal crops in the field.

The project will also be taking on new and exciting challenges, including working on project tractor so that it can drive itself from the shed to the field.

UK based Drone AG is launching a first-of-its-kind app that scouts fields for growers, in less time and in more detail. All that is needed is a smartphone and a small drone, which can be purchased for as little as £500, making the cost of entry relatively low.

After choosing a field the Skippy Scout app flies the drone, collecting high-resolution imagery at various points in the field. This is downloaded straight to the operator’s phone and can be analysed for growth stage, green area index, weeds and disease. Data can be shared from the field edge.

The Skippy Scout app will be free during its launch and testing phases, starting in November.

Agri-tech opportunities

As well as providing a platform for established companies, visitors looking to develop technological solutions to benefit the food and farming industries are also catered for.

Exhibitor Farm491, the RAU Cirencester-based agri-tech facilitator, will have members on the stand who will share their experiences of working with Farm491, whether that be through office or practical workshop residency, participating in its Inspiring Agritech Innovation (IAI) bootcamps which help start-ups or early stage SMEs develop enterprises, or use its newly opened Alliston Centre, a £4.2m state of the art incubation hub.

Improving decision support is the theme of Agri-Tech East’s stand at CropTec, which will showcase some exciting emerging agri-tech. This is the first time the independent member-led organisation has had a formal presence at the show.

Agri-Tech East was established with the recognition that to create true innovation, novel solutions need to be provided for industry problems. By bringing innovative farmers and industry experts together with scientists and technologists, Agri-Tech East is facilitating the rapid growth of a thriving agri-tech sector.

Agronomy developments

CF Fertilisers is focusing on opportunities to increase Nitrogen Utilisation Efficiency (NUE) through fertiliser product choice and the potential to reduce ammonia emissions at CropTec 2018.

Growers still need to prioritise productivity and crop response to identify the optimum amount of fertiliser they need, then choose the N source that will produce the greatest economic return.

Recent trials showing better margins from using ammonium nitrate over urea-only programmes will be highlighted, as will using high quality products like Nitram to help reduce ammonia emissions.

A successful microgranule starter fertiliser already in use on 600,000ha overseas will be launched in the UK at CropTec by Kent-based JS Tech.

Super Start provides essential nutrients immediately to the developing plant. As well as phosphorous (35%) and nitrogen (10%), it contains sulphur (5%), zinc (2%) and magnesium (2%) to encourage root development and boost establishment. Placed next to the seed as it is drilled, the microgranule formulation has around 300 times the surface area of conventional fertilisers, ensuring a faster release and quick availability following autumn or spring sowing.

JS Tech is expecting substantial interest, initially for maize, potatoes and OSR, though spring cereals, vegetables and sugar beet would also benefit.

Ilex Envirosciences is promoting its new Crop Rooter Plus product, which provides cereal crops with an early boost to root development to improve nutrient uptake, speed establishment and promote healthy even growth.

Crop Rooter Plus is a fast-acting new-generation foliar phosphite that works at  low application rates to provide a concentrated boost of NPK and 19 essential amino acids. It can also be used on stressed oilseed rape plants struggling against less than ideal soil conditions and/or pest pressure.

A successful microgranule starter fertiliser already in use on 600,000ha overseas will be launched in the UK at CropTec by Kent-based JS Tech.

Super Start provides essential nutrients immediately to the developing plant. As well as phosphorous (35%) and nitrogen (10%), it contains sulphur (5%), zinc (2%) and magnesium (2%) to encourage root development and boost establishment. Placed next to the seed as it is drilled, the microgranule formulation has around 300 times the surface area of conventional fertilisers, ensuring a faster release and quick availability following autumn or spring sowing.

JS Tech is expecting substantial interest, initially for maize, potatoes and OSR, though spring cereals, vegetables and sugar beet would also benefit.

BASF will be highlighting the benefits of its newly acquired InVigor hybrids and the Clearfield system on its stand.

InVigor oilseed rape hybrids have benefited from a breeding programme that has focused on early vigour and improved oil content, as well as yield, which means their on-farm performance matches the best varieties on the Recommended List. The brand provides an excellent platform to develop and introduce traits that can transform oilseed rape management, some of which will be aired in the InVigor-sponsored Crop Breeding seminar at the event.

Clearfield oilseed rape, which is resistant to BASF herbicides developed to control problem crucifer weeds such as charlock, has seen rapid uptake in the past three years. Not only does it improve yield and quality, in some cases it has enabled farmers to keep growing the crop on charlock-infested fields rather than giving it up.

New varieties of wheat, oilseed rape and forage will be joining DSV’s established portfolio of wheat, OSR and cover crops at CropTec.

Petroschka maize is medium maturing for the forage market with excellent energy yield and disease resistance.  LiRoyal, is an early maturing forage variety with high starch content and impressive yields.

A newly recommended AHDB OSR variety, Temptation, is DSV’s first variety with Turnip Yellow Virus (TuYV) resistance and it also has multi-gene resistance for phoma and light leaf spot.

DSV also expects to have at least three AHDB oilseed rape candidate varieties with triple layers for resistance to TuYV, pod shatter resistance and multi-gene resistance for stem canker/phoma.

A new Group 4 hard wheat candidate for the West region, Theodore, is also likely to join the AHDB list. It is said to have list-topping disease resistance and outstanding untreated yield.

Belchim Crop Protection is inviting farmers and agronomists to visit its stand to discuss the expanding portfolio and solutions to a wide range of agronomic issues, especially new developments in aphid control and potato desiccation.

The company continues to work on development of new actives and optimal uses for current products. With continuing active ingredient losses such as neonicotinoid seed treatments, diquat  and pymetrozine, Belchim is putting the full force of its technical expertise into all crops.

Bayer’s pest solutions team will be on hand to provide advice and guidance on maintaining value of stored grain and avoiding losses this winter.

Grain losses due to pest damage cost up to £50/t and visitors will be encouraged to check their stores weekly to protect against insect damage.

Certis’s team will be on hand to discuss ways to tackle the three main threats of blackgrass, slugs and take-all, in order to protect fields, yields and profits from day one.

Slugs are the immediate priority. Despite the summer drought, moderate to high populations are reported on some soil types, and vigilance and high-quality pellets, will be key, particularly for slow-to-emerge and later drilled crops.

CropTec 2018 takes place on 28th and 29th November at the East of England Showground, Peterborough. Doors are open 08:30-16:30.

The event is free for visitors to attend, provided tickets are booked in advance.

Visitors to The CropTec Show will be able to collect BASIS and NRoSO points on both days of the event. Those planning to attend the event can keep up with the latest news by signing up to the event newsletter at email.croptecshow.com

For further information on CropTec 2018, go to www.croptecshow.com

Share This Story to your followers!