£150K Boost to agri-food production projects

£150,000 has been awarded to three universities for projects related to Internet of Things technologies aiming to boost agri-food production. These technologies are been exclusively developed foe the agri-food industry.

The Universities are the University of Aberdeen, the University of Sterling and the University of Nottingham. It is expected that these projects will last a period of six months. These pilot projects will be presenting their findings at the Internet of Food things Network Plus Conference in Lincoln which is been held from the 17th to the 19th of September.

The three projects are:

Aberdeen – Improved food safety in B2B and B2C food delivery through IoT

Stirling – Use of sensors to improve Pig productivity

Nottingham – IoT Enhanced Factory Cleaning

With the recent announcement of better access to networks from Ofcom as well projects like this will likely become more common in research as well as actual deployment in the Industry. We wish them the best of luck with their efforts.

Ofcom opening up the air to benefit rural communities

The UK’s telecom regulator Ofcom has announced that it is opening up applications for small business and rural communities to have shared-access to airwaves “spectrums” which have so far been restricted to major mobile operators.

These networks are licenced to the mobile operators but if they are not using them then they will be available for the sharing. As these technologies get deployed it will be a very interesting time in the Industry.

Ofcom are using this approach to help support innovation for new services an example given for farmers would be to allow them to set-up their own network to connect livestock, crop and irrigation systems together. Which would allow for better planning, resource management and benefit harvesting.

This is not only set to benefit famers as rural communities and other industries in the manufacturing and entertainment sectors will likely also see a benefit to applying and gaining access to these networks. The networks proposed to be opened up to sharing by Ofcom do support 4G and 5G so the latest and the best equipment will be available to everyone.

You can apply to Ofcom now if there is a network that is not been used by its owning mobile operator in your area today to apply for access to it will cost £950 to use the network for up to three years though longer-term contracts can be agreed.

Bayer & Bosch making smart sprayer.

Smart sprayer.

German agrochemical giant Bayer has teamed up with Bosch to develop a smart sprayer system which could reduce chemical usage by 20%. It will automatically detect the type of weeds and switch the herbicide in use as well as only target the areas where weeds are present. Very interesting. Find out ways TractAir can help you plant  and harvest crops more efficentlly here with AirBrakes and CTIS.

DEFRA minister George Eustice to put soil ‘at heart’ of post-Brexit support scheme

Protecting and enhancing soil health is expected to be ‘at heart’ of a flagship environment scheme by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This new type of scheme could be at the centre of the governments agricultural policy’s for post-Brexit Britain. These comments where made at the Tenant Farmers Association conference at Stoneleigh.

Scotland considering living wage for all agricultural workers

NFU Scotland has raised concerns over the plan which would raise the minimum wage for all agricultural workers regardless of age and duty. This would mean far higher expenditure for farmers who employ workers. NFUS has warned that as a result farmers may have to turn to contractors in the future in order to keep down costs during a time of falling incomes, as well as greatly increasing the cost of Scottish food in comparison to the rest of the United Kingdom.