Have you heard? Next week is Agri-Tech Week! Remember last year’s bug supper at the Agri-Tech Week REAP conference? We are proud to sponsor the event once again and do our part to promote Agri-Tech Week, which focuses this year on creating a profitable and sustainable future. The week is packed, including special events promoting the latest in AgriTech thinking run by AHDB, NIAB, University of Lincoln and RNAA, as well as Agri-Tech East’s REAP conference. Here’s the week’s low down

Farmers, technologists and researchers will soon converge for Agri-Tech Week to hear the latest in practical and sustainable agritech. Held from 6-10 November 2017, and including the flagship REAP conference, there will be a rich variety of events across eastern counties, including Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, comments: “Agri-Tech Week aims to showcase excellence in innovation across the agritech value chain, brokering links and fostering new relationships between businesses, researchers and government. It is also an opportunity to welcome new collaborators, customers and partners to England’s agritech ecosystem.”

Agri-Tech Week 2017 Programme

Monday 6th November

What? Presentations and interactive workshop hosted by Lincoln Institute for Agricultural Technology

When? Afternoon

Where? Riseholme Campus, Riseholme Hall, Lincoln LN2 2LG

Further info:Presentations and interactive workshop hosted by Lincoln Institute for Agricultural Technology looking at:

  • The impact of coastal flooding on agricultural land
  • The contribution of agrochemicals, especially metaldehydes to water sources
  • Farm systems management and governance for producing good water quality for drinking water supplier, Fairway Project
  • Soil Moisture Monitoring and use of autonomous systems (Thorvald Robot)

Tuesday 7th November

Erosion proof farming meets technology: To fight the threat of soil erosion, south Australian farmer Brian Fischer ploughed the land in a pattern of spirals, ensuring that whichever way the wind blew there would always be a furrow to catch the top soil and therefore reduce further erosion. This demonstrates a key theme of REAP2017: how innovation can be applying good practice in new ways.
Image courtesy of Brian Fischer (www.ashmorewhitesuffolks.com)


What? REAP Conference: Today’s Knowledge Meets Tomorrow’s Technology

When? All day

Where? Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre, Hinxton, CB10 1RQ

Further info: The case for using agri-tech to add value and increase profitability, productivity and sustainability will be proposed by experts from a number of perspectives – farming, retail, technology, science and policy.

The keynote speech will be delivered by award-winning Argentinian farmer Maria Beatriz Giraudo who brings insights from no-till cultivation and heavy use of biological agents, with a response by Professor Ian Crute, former Chief Scientist at AHDB.

The day will be completed with a sofa session featuring experts from different fields discussing the issues raised, followed by a reception hosted by SmithsonHill where we’ll be sharing the latest updates on our plans for ARC, an AgriTech site in Cambridge, and announcing who has won our robot!

Other highlights include a Start-up Showcase with early stage companies pitching to the audience, as well as the exhibition area with demonstrations of the latest agri-tech.

Interested? It’s still not too late to register at www.reapconference.co.uk.

Wednesday 8th November


What? Tyres, Traction and Compaction Workshop

When? Morning

Where? The Marsh Larder, Shotford Hall, Harleston, Norfolk, IP20 9QT

Further info: “The workshop will take an in-depth look at wheels, load, tyre pressures, tyre selection, variable pressure and compaction,” says Teresa Meadows, Knowledge Exchange Manager (East Anglia) at AHDB. “This will be explored during the morning along with a practical demonstration of the importance of tyre pressures using a weigh cell.”

This joint workshop between AHDB, Essex & Suffolk Water and Catchment Sensitive Farming will look at how to avoid waste through traction inefficiencies and reduce compaction effects to improve soils. An in-depth look at wheels, loads, tyre pressures, tyre selection, variable pressure and compaction will be explored during the morning along with a practical demonstration of the importance of tyre pressures using a weigh cell.

Wednesday 8th November


What: Essex Agri-Tech Expertise Workshop

When: Afternoon

Where: Wivenhoe House, Wivenhoe Park, Park Rd, Colchester, CO4 3SQ

More info: Hosted by the University of Essex this event will feature presentations, lab-tours and workshop to include a robotics, drones and plant sciences.

Thursday 9th November


What: RNAA Annual Lecture

When: Afternoon

Where: Easton and Otley College, Easton, Norwich, NR9 5DX

More info: Hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and Easton and Otley College, this event considers the future influences (economic, financial, geo-political, scientific/ technological) on UK agriculture and how Norfolk’s farmers might find ‘their’ way in an increasingly uncertain and complex world. In particular, it asks what role agri-tech has to play, where new developments are coming from and whether we have the right skills and talent to cope with the future. Taken altogether, we ask how we meet the future needs and demands of the consumer, on the one hand, and the rural economy on the other.

The speaker at this event will be Professor Allan Buckwell, an agricultural economist and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Friday 10th November


What: Saving Waste in Horticulture: Optimising Resources Workshop

When: Morning

Where: Sophi Taylor Building, NIAB Park Farm, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9NZ

Further info: “Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables offer a wealth of bioactivies that are being used for anti-aging products, cancer prevention, natural colourings and nutritional enhancements,” says Dr Lydia Smith, Head of NIAB Innovation Farm. “This is a valuable new market for the horticultural industry and offers an opportunity to use non-edible waste such as skins and stones. The workshop aims to scope out the prospects to accelerate the transition to a bioeconomy.”

This event will include seminars and a workshop to discuss management and reduction of waste in the food chain, hearing about best practice to optimise resources as product moves from the field or glasshouse to the packhouse. Hosted by NIAB, this event will feature international partners from the pan-Europe consortium Bioboost, funded by the EU Interreg 2seas programme, coming together to discuss progress and innovation in the industry to reduce waste.

Full details for these events can be found at www.agritech-east.co.uk/events.

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