Farmers can now apply to attend a demonstration event to see and discuss the technologies, approaches and techniques being applied as the industry moves to achieving net zero.
The Farm of the Future: Net Zero in Practice demonstration day will take place at Harper Adams University on the 13th of April 2023. It is been delivered by Innovation for Agriculture (IfA), in partnership with The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) and Harper Adams University.
Philip Gready, chair of RASE, explained that the event has been organised with input from the contributors to the ‘Farm of the Future: Journey to Net Zero’ report, which was published by RASE in 2022.
“The report showed how land can be used for efficient and profitable production of food and to sequester more carbon than is emitted while improving soil health, water quality and biodiversity,” he said.
“The event will go a step further, by demonstrating the technologies expected to shape the future of the industry and equipping farmers with the insights needed to plan for the future of their business.”
The event will include farming panel discussions and technical sessions, with a focus on small group discussions. The number of tickets has been limited to 150 to maximise the opportunity to ask questions and interact with technologies firsthand.
Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change, will deliver the keynote address, followed by a panel debate with four farmers sharing their perspectives on decarbonisation. These include contract farmer Tim Williams, dairy farmer Abi Reader, poultry farmer and researcher Louise Manning and Helen Browning OBE, an organic farmer and chief executive of the Soil Association.
Pig farmer Flavian Obiero, pedigree beef farmer Paul Westaway and Farm of the Future report contributor Nigel Davies will form the panel for the concluding debate, covering synergies and collaborations that exist between farming sectors, and how these can help achieve net zero.
Between the panel sessions, there will be three technical sessions:
- Autonomous vehicles and robotics – including outdoor demonstration of kit on the Hands-Free Hectare site at Harper Adams
- Decarbonisation of livestock production – breeding, feeding and health
- Circular solutions for biowastes – clean energy, nutrients and future fuels
Kit Franklin, a senior engagement fellow at Harper Adams University, will lead the autonomous vehicles and robotics session, which will include a demonstration of the driverless tractors developed as part of the ‘Hand Free Hectare’ project, plus demonstrations from FarmDroid.
“Seeing is believing,” he says. “Farmers will be able to see the agri-tech of tomorrow in action and will have the opportunity to ask tricky questions,” said Mr Franklin. “My expectation is for every attendee to come away from the event thinking about how they might apply the solutions on-farm, and to start considering the changes they’ll need to make to be ahead of the curve and ready to adopt the technologies when the time comes.
“Agri-tech solutions will shape future farms, enable agriculture to simultaneously become more efficient, more profitable and more environmentally friendly,” he concluded.
Tickets are available now. Interested parties can apply here.