Technology could unlock British farmland’s full potential

Software may now enable British farmers and growers to unlock the full potential of their land by applying the exact nutrients it needs.

For the first time, the latest research from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)’s Nutrient Management Guide has been converted to data for software.

This means a bespoke plan can now be created for each field, potentially increasing yield from a large number of arable, potato and horticultural crops, helping farmers and growers to decide whether to save or apply fertiliser, manures or slurry to maximise growth.

The development could have significant environmental and cost saving benefits for the industry.

“As the population continues to grow, the need to increase the productivity of our land while protecting the environment becomes ever greater. This tool will help support our farmers and growers to do that,” said James Holmes, Resource Management Senior Scientist at AHDB.

“We’ve spent years developing our Nutrient Management Guide, but there was a gap in the market which this new technology has helped us to fill. Growers and agronomists can now access impartial digital guidance to improve their land field-by-field and get the most from their crops.”

The development has been possible following a partnership with Farmplan, now using the data in its Gatekeeper software, to help farmers and growers manage cropping activities.

Sarah Alexander, Arable Commercial Product Manager at Farmplan, said: “Our software is currently used by more than 5,000 farmers, growers and agronomists. Having access to the data from AHDB’s Nutrient Management Guide not only gives our customers peace of mind by satisfying compliance needs, but also the opportunity to make their land more productive.”

The Nutrient Management Guide Application Programme Interface is available for other providers to use, however Gatekeeper is currently the only software provider using the data.

The new software is available at: farmplan.co.uk/crops/gatekeeper-grower/.

 

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.