sustainability Archives - Agri-EPI Centre

sustainability

Tag Archive for: sustainability

Data-capture and use focus of innovation farm walk

Data-capture and use is the focus of a farm walk at one of Agri-EPI Centre’s technology and innovation trial farms.

The event will take place at Upper Nisbet Farm, Jedburgh, by kind permission of farmers Robert and Jac Neill, on Tuesday 11 October.

Participants will be able to hear about the Neills’ experience of implementing new technology on the farm in conjunction with Agri-EPI Centre, including Crover, the grain-monitoring robot, which burrows into stored grain to check moisture levels and temperature. The Neills also utilise machinery and equipment from Agri-EPI Centre members John Deere, Keenan and Trutest who will talk about their technology.

Robert Neill said:

“The farming industry needs new technology and there are some things that are already delivering really good results at Upper Nisbet. My experience with GPS has been unbelievably good; I can drill crops with much greater precision, meaning I don’t sow in inefficiency at the start of the season. If I know that the combine is exactly where it is meant to be, I can concentrate on other settings, such as keeping the header full. It also means I’m much less exhausted at the end of the day.”

Ross Robertson, head of mixed farming at Agri-EPI Centre said:

“The farming industry needs new technology to become more efficient. Some things have potential and some don’t, but this doesn’t always become clear until they are trialled on working farms.

“Agri-EPI Centre works with arable and livestock farms the length and breadth of the UK, enabling us to undertake and research new technology, commercial trials and data analysis in as many different situations as possible. I am really looking forward to hearing how Robert and Jac are getting on with the technology at Upper Nisbet and to learning about what works and where they see opportunities for development.”

Agri-EPI hosts agri-tech focused tour for New Zealand delegation

This month Agri-EPI hosted a visit from Callaghan Innovation and Agritech New Zealand.

Beginning with a visit to one of their satellite farms, Kaiapoi Farm, farmer Robert Hodgkins showcased his new sheep dairy and discussed the realities of farming in the UK and opportunities for deployment of agri-tech.

Agri-EPI works with an extensive network of real commercial farms and research facilities in the UK and internationally, offering a platform through which innovators can verify the effectiveness of their new idea or technology in practice.Their farm network is key to connecting farmers with technology developers, advancing the adoption of agri-tech and enhancing the sustainability of farm businesses.

The next leg of the visit involved a tour of Agri-EPI’s new Agri-informatics building at Cranfield University and the shared Agri-EPI Centre and Crop Health & Protection – CHAP phenotyping glasshouse facility, a superb asset for companies to use for R&D and trials. They were joined there by representatives from the university, CHAP, and Innovate UK.

With a stopover to UK Dairy Day, they watched Agri-EPI members at MilktechNZ showcase their award winning CR-1 electronic cup removers, followed by a visit to Harper Adams University where Hands Free Farm demonstrated their autonomous combine harvester in action.

The final stop was Agri-EPI’s Midlands Agri-tech Innovation Hub where networking and discussions around UK funding and the potential for future collaboration took place.

Jane Lycett, International Business Development Manager at Agri-EPI, who coordinated the visit, said:

“It was great to host an inward mission of innovative agri-tech companies, led by Callaghan Innovation and Agritech New Zealand. The visit provided an opportunity to showcase a number of Agri EPI Centre’s facilities and expertise and discuss areas for future collaboration between UK and New Zealand.”

Specialising in connecting knowledgeable experts and new solutions across the agricultural sectors, Agri-EPI aims to help deliver profitable and sustainable cutting-edge technologies to market.

 

   

Paraguay SMART Farm Project: Adapting Origin Digital’s Contour Platform to the South American Climate

Agri-EPI Centre has been leading the Innovate UK-supported SMART Farm project in Paraguay since January 2018. It has involved partnering with a farming business to demonstrate UK agri-tech in the agricultural economy of Paraguay.

The farming business, GVASA in San Pedro, spans 85,000 hectares and incorporates cattle, maize, soybean and rice production enterprises. This phase of the SMART Farm project has focused on implementing Origin Digital’s Contour platform across GVASA’s arable fields, providing the farmer with in-depth soil health information, effective crop growth models, and enabling variable rate application.

Origin has worked collaboratively with Agri-Epi and Innovate UK to gather information on 6927 hectares of field boundaries and cropping information in Paraguay. Management zones were created over 1,661 of these hectares using soil brightness technology, and 589.6 had precision zonal sampling done on them for nutrient analysis.

Using crop growth model rulesets developed for Africa, the team were able to deploy these models in Paraguay with high levels of accuracy. Minor localisation of the models further increased the accuracy confirming the localisable value. These models include crop growth stage and yield predictors.

“The African models showed a strong correlation with actual South American yields , says Dan Wood at Origin Digital.

“And accuracy improved further when adjustments were made to the models to begin localising them further to South America, showing that our crop growth models can be successfully deployed in this geography.”

A particularly useful outcome is variable rate fertiliser recommendations, which can lead to significant cost savings, increased soil health, and improved efficiencies, yield and profitability.

“It has been a pleasure to manage the Paraguay SMART Farm project, particularly facilitating Origin Digital’s successful adaption of the Contour platform to the South American climate,” says Emily Laskin, farms technical coordinator at Agri-EPI.

“Seeing British technology provide efficiency and sustainability benefits to farming practices internationally shows us how we can make a difference and is a source of pride for the entire team at Agri-EPI.”

The economic outcome of introducing UK technology means more profitable farming systems, reduced environmental footprint and improved economic sustainability.

 

Read more:

Paraguay case study

Mirico’s ORION®

The agricultural sector is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, with the IPCC estimating that agriculture and land use are responsible for 21% of all greenhouse emissions, and with 52% of nitrous oxide emissions coming from the sector. To help understand exactly where and how these greenhouse gases are emitted during agricultural processes, reliable measurement methods are needed. As a powerful greenhouse gas with 84 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide, methane (CH₄) needs to be accurately monitored, and its emission response to increased temperature needs to be quantified.

Mirico’s Orion® CH₄ technology has been developed to monitor methane emissions on a continuous basis across a large area, in all weathers. At the heart of all Mirico products is a revolutionary new technology- Laser Dispersion Spectroscopy (LDS). Whereas traditional optical sensing systems measure the intensity of returned light, LDS is measuring the change in frequency of the returned light. The technology provides real-time monitoring of emissions, operating specifically in the mid infra-red spectral region and enables the collection and interpretation of emissions data in all weather conditions. From this data users are able to gain insights based on accurate continuous reporting, even in fog, rain, snow and particulate affected environments. The Mirico Orion® is able to carry out fugitive emissions monitoring, biomethane emissions monitoring, greenhouse gas analysis, and agricultural gas monitoring.

Key benefits:
Compared with conventional methods of monitoring methane and ammonia concentrations, Mirico’s Laser Dispersion
Spectroscopy technology offers:
• Accurate, precise and reliable measurements
• Consistent performance in adverse weather conditions (rain, fog, snow, dust)
• Large area coverage with simple, robust equipment
• Autonomous and continuous monitoring
• Real time, reproducible data for more meaningful analysis

Agri-EPI has invested in Mirico’s Orion® methane measurement system and will be using it in funded project work at its state-of-the-art South West Dairy Development Centre (SWDDC) in Somerset, which aims to offer a fresh vision for sustainable UK milk production. Our unique version of this sensor, including bespoke additions to the Mirico software suite, will be available for research use at SWDDC and can be used for trials such as outdoor and indoor methane monitoring, feed trials, herbal leys trials and ground truthing of novel sensors and monitoring methods. For information on renting out our technical assets please contact team@agri-epicentre.com.

Beta Bugs takes flight with Agri-EPI Centre support

  • Agri-EPI Centre supported growth for a sustainable and carbon neutral agri-tech business
  • Membership offered high level networking and exposure for Beta Bugs
  • Friendly and supportive environment for innovation

A specialist UK agri-food supply chain business which is improving insect genetics to tackle one of the world’s biggest challenges has expanded thanks to support from the Agri-EPI Centre.

Beta Bugs has developed a pioneering insect breeding facility at the centre’s Scottish site which is also home to the company’s growing team.

CEO and Founder Thomas Farrugia said the insect farming industry is helping to combat three major areas contributing to the climate emergency: food waste, deforestation, and carbon emissions.

And he says being part of the Agri-EPI Centre has delivered collaboration, funding and access to new market opportunities – as well as space to grow its operations specialising in the genetics of insects destined for feed at the Centre’s Northern Agri-Tech Innovation Hub in Scotland.

The Agri-EPI Centre, part of the UK’s Agri-Tech Strategy and supported by Innovate UK, is a membership organisation which aims to support projects which will generate economic growth and help tackle the global issues of sustainability and feeding the world.

Beta Bugs focus on breeding an improved Black Soldier Fly is part of that mission to generate a sustainable alternative protein source that can be used in aquaculture, pork, and poultry feed.

The growing company is a member of the Agri-EPI Centre, based at the Easter Bush Campus site near Roslin, which offers a host of benefits to members, from employment and lab space to support with funding bids.

Thomas said:

“Agri-EPI provided us with a great office and space for us to be able to grow, both the team and also the space for the bugs. It’s helpful to be on site with other agri-tech businesses because it’s good to be able to build up connections, share peer-to-peer learning and there are collaboration opportunities between us.”

Thomas said being a member of the Agri-EPI had been a huge factor in the growth of the company.

He said:

“It’s great to be able to work with a team that’s so motivated to enable agriculture to innovate further and develop, and to be able to leverage that.

“What I really like about Agri-EPI is the physical space, being able to build connections into the agri-food supply chain. The ability to build relationships with key stakeholders such as Innovate UK and DEFRA has been really important too and one which we accessed via the platforms that Agri-EPI Centre gave us.

“We’ve had assistance with leveraging grant funding and managing building projects, as well as engineering support. Importantly, they’ve helped us expand and helped the company to grow and create jobs.”

Annabelle Gardener, Membership and Events Manager at the Agri-EPI Centre, added:

“Beta Bugs is a great example of a company which has really benefitted from our dedicated support and assistance. The business is growing, creating jobs and developing new products and services to supply other companies in our sector – it is a real supply chain success story.

“By working together, we have shown we can support agri-tech companies to scale and Beta Bugs is just one of 142 different projects we’ve helped since our launch, supporting collaborations providing access to R&D funding of £36 million into the sector.”

 

Read more:

Beta Bugs case study

Aquaculture Innovation Centre opens on Scotland’s Argyll coast

An array of aquaculture specialists, academics and industry representatives gathered at Loch Fyne on Scotland’s Argyll coast yesterday, 15th June, to witness the formal opening of Agri-EPI Centre’s new Marine Aquaculture Innovation Centre (MAIC).

 

Guests of the launch event were welcomed by Managing Director of Otter Ferry Seafish, Alastair Barge, and CEO of Agri-EPI Centre, Dave Ross, who introduced the new centre.

 

“The facility is scaled and configured to bridge gaps identified by industry, including testing of instrumentation and validation of operational welfare indicators, and other trials, under controlled conditions with near market-sized farmed fish. The proposed investment is industry led – responding to industry demand and taking design and direction from that demand.”

 

Guests enjoyed a tour of the facilities, a networking lunch, and the witnessing of the formal opening of the centre.

 

In conjunction with independent aquaculture company, Otter Ferry Seafish (OFS) – and jointly funded by Innovate UK and Agri-EPI Centre – the Marine Aquaculture Innovation Centre offers fully serviced research and development facilities to aquaculture producers and technology providers and is aimed at helping to drive sustainable solutions and improve efficiency for the UK aquaculture industry.

 

Alastair Barge, Managing Director of Otter Ferry Seafish, explained:

“Research has been at the heart of the company since day one, but our recent collaboration with Agri-EPI has added new impact and a new species in salmon. We have a great mix of industry and research, and together we can forge the way as innovators in sustainable aquaculture.”

 

Agri-EPI Centre has over 220 industry focused stakeholder members spanning retailers, supply chain associations, and high-tech companies, large and small, and this collaboration helps drive innovation and solutions within the sector.

 

“Enabling assets such as the new Marine Aquaculture Innovation Centre provide industry and academia with bespoke industry-focused facilities to perform development testing, validation and solution-finding.”

 

If you would like more information about Agri-EPI Centre, please visit: https://twc.agri-epicentre.com/

Tag Archive for: sustainability

World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit

Next month World Agri-Tech will bring together leading agribusinesses, co-operatives, CPG brands, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers to accelerate the transition to sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. Agri-EPI is thrilled to be participating in the summit.

Make the most of two days of in-person sessions and networking in London and use code EPIFRIEND to get 10% off ticket price!

Agri-EPI Centre Annual Conference 2022 – The path to sustainable farming continued: The role of precision technology

Join renowned UK farmers, tech developers, and agri-tech sector representatives for a day of on-farm discussions, networking, and demonstrations at Agri-EPI’s 2022 Annual Conference.

Taking place at the beautiful Shimpling Park Farm, this event will bring together key stakeholders from across the agriculture sector, offering an opportunity for farmers, agri-tech experts and academics to connect, network and discuss the path to sustainability in farming, and the role of precision technology in delivering food security.

This highlight event of the year will provide an opportunity for innovators, farmers, science, industry and investors to be part of the conversation around balancing food security with production, profit, people, and the environment. The event will include panel sessions, tech demonstrations, lunch, networking, and a farm tour.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Agri-EPI’s Annual Conference: The role of technology in food security

What is the role of technology to deliver food security?

The Agri-EPI Centre’s annual conference brings together key stakeholders from across the agriculture sector, offering an opportunity for farmers, agri-tech experts and academics to connect, network and discuss crucial matters facing the industry.

This highlight event will provide an opportunity for innovators, farmers, science, industry and investors to be part of the conversation around balancing food security with production, profit, people, and the environment. The event will include panel sessions, networking, and a farm tour.

The conference is open to all farmers, scientists, academics, industry representatives, technologists, and investors.

Agri-Tech and Environmental Sustainability

Agri-Tech and Environmental Sustainability is a free, one-day hybrid conference bringing together thought-leaders from the agrifood industry, research and policy alongside the four UK Agri-Tech Centres – Agrimetrics, Agri-EPI Centre, CHAP (Crop Health and Protection) and CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock). Experts in a variety of fields will explore, and discuss with delegates, the opportunities and challenges around harnessing innovation and technology for sustainable agrifood systems.

The agrifood sector is undergoing transformative change in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change and protect landscapes and nature. Sustainability is now central to supply chain discussions across the UK and global food industries.

Technological innovation and data are vital in helping the food supply chain adapt to the sustainability challenge, from farm level right through to the consumer. Innovation can help businesses support the UK’s legal commitment to net zero; make food production smarter; and maximise supply chain efficiency and transparency – creating a food system that is better for both people and planet.

Speakers

  • Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Indro Mukerjee, Chief Executive, Innovate UK
  • Prof. Pete Smith, Professor of Soils and Global Change at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen
  • Anna Turrell, Head of Environment, Tesco
  • Cliona Howie, Chief Executive Director, Foundation Earth

Broadcaster Charlotte Smith, of BBC Countryfile and BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today, is guest compere.

Why attend?

  • Learn more about emerging technologies that could support sustainability within your business
  • Gain a fresh perspective and new insight to help prepare, withstand and adapt to shifting market demands
  • A valuable chance to step back, reflect and focus on key challenges and opportunities for futureproofing your business and wider supply chain
  • Be inspired by, and put your questions to, some of the leading and most influential thought-leaders in their respective fields of expertise.

IAgrE Engineering for Food: Dairy Technology From Farm To Plant

Agri-EPI’s Head of Dairy, Duncan Forbes, is one of the speakers at the Online Dairy Seminar, organised by the Engineering for Food and Drink Special Interest Group. A free five-day event, consisting of a series of lunchtime webinars exploring the future of dairy and discussing key global Dairy research topics.

Audience and programme

We warmly invite our network working within food, engineering, technology & research to attend.

There are five daily sessions from 12-1pm (GMT) each day that feature two different speakers per day:

Monday 22 February

  1. Charles Nicklin CEng MIAgrE – CEO of IAgrE – will introduce the series and explain the role of the Institution in Food Engineering fir the future and how professional registration can benefit the careers of those involved in the sector
  2. Agri-EPI South West DairyDuncan Forbes – Head of Dairy at Agri-EPI Centre – Future Dairy – a vision for the future of milk production (touching upon the automated South West Dairy Development Centre in Shepton Mallet)

Tuesday 23 February

  1. Charles Adetunji – Edo University Iyamho – Food Safety and nutritional value of fermented and indigenous drinks to Nigeria & Sub-Saharan Africa
  2. Moses Abalaka – Federal University of Technology Minna – Enhancing the nutritional value of milk in rural areas of developing countries through processing

Wednesday 24 February

  1. Peter Swift – GEA Westfalia – Milking machines and links of machine and teat
  2. Daniel Bussmann – GEA Westfalia – Processing of milk focusing on the latest centrifugal separation technologies

Thursday 25 February

  1. Nik Watson – University of Nottingham – Optimising of cleaning processes through data driven sensing
  2. Heena Sharma – Dairy Institute India – Processing of goat milk and milk products : An overview

Friday 26 February

  1. Ulrich Mülle– TH OWL, Life Science Technologies – Counterstream injection technology case studies and potentials for dairy applications
  2. Daniel von der Gablentz – Vod-engineering – Validation of dairy bottling plants
  3. Charles Nicklin – CEO IAgrE – will round up the sessions and thank the participants

Event partners

Event partners include:

Edo University Iyamho, GEA Westfalia, National Dairy Institute India, Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe, University of Nottingham, University of Technology Minna, Vod-engineering GmbH and Agri-EPI Centre.

 

“Food Engineering is a technical multi-disciplinary profession that deals with the system and structures of food, pro-duction processes as well as physical, (bio)chemical and biological transformation processes. It is based on scientific laws and economical, ecological and social, cultural and religious norms.”


Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE)About IAgrE

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) is a professional membership organisation with grades for all those working, or with an interest in, engineering, science and technology within agriculture and the environment. A registered charity working for the public benefit, IAgrE brings together academics, practitioners and industry to share knowledge and promote professionalism in the advancement and application of technology in the landbased sector. For more information, please visit: https://iagre.org

Innovation for Food Resilience

Explore technology’s role in securing UK food resilience with experts from Microsoft UK, NFU, Chatham House and the four UK Agri-Tech Centres.

About the event ‘Innovation for Food Resilience’

Covid-19 has brought a renewed focus on our food security. It has been a stark reminder of the threats to a food system that is globally interconnected and incredibly complex. The agrifood sector is exposed to a wide range of stressors, including climate change and soil degradation, population growth, economic & political disruption, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The resilience of every aspect of the agrifood value chain is being tested.

Innovation for Food Resilience is a free, half-day virtual conference that brings together thought-leaders including Microsoft, Chatham House and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) for England and Wales, alongside the four UK Agri-Tech Centres – Agri-EPI, Agrimetrics, CHAP (Crop Health and Protection) and CIEL (Centre Innovation Excellence in Livestock) – to discuss the role of innovation and technology in increasing food resilience. Broadcaster Charlotte Smith, perhaps best known for her work on BBC Countryfile and BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today, is guest compere.

 

Agri-Tech Centres Event | 'Innovation for Food Resilience' | 19 November 2020

 

Who should attend

Anyone involved in the agrifood supply and value chain, and extending to policy, research and NGOs.

This free online event will be of likely interest and relevance to those working in food production and supply, R&D, innovation, technology, data, sustainability, CSR and related functions across the agrifood value chain.

Why attend ‘Innovation for Food Resilience’

  • Learn more about emerging technologies that could drive innovation within your business
  • Gain a fresh perspective and new insight to help prepare, withstand and adapt to shifting market demands
  • A valuable chance to step back, reflect and focus on key challenges and opportunities for futureproofing your business and wider supply chain
  • Be inspired by, and put your questions to, some of the leading and most influential thought-leaders in their respective fields of expertise.

Agenda

All times in GMT

13:00 Welcome and introduction by host, Charlotte Smith

13:10 Professor Tim Benton, Research Director at Chatham House

13:35 Minette Batters, President at NFU

14:00 Ellen Wilson, Sustainability & Smart Cities Lead at Microsoft UK

14:25 Break | Four UK Agri-Tech Centres Themed Presentations

14:40 Climate and Net Zero

15:00 Sustainable Productivity

15:20 Crop and Livestock Health

15:40 Food Provenance and Quality

16:00 Break

16:10 Q&A and Panel Discussion

16:45 Closing Remarks

17:00 Conference Close

Agri-Tech Centres Event | 'Innovation for Food Resilience' | 19 November 2020