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Opportunity North East seeks Aberdeenshire farms for agri-tech project

Two demonstration farms in Aberdeenshire are sought for the project.
Two demonstration farms in Aberdeenshire are sought for the project.

The hunt is on to find demonstrator farms in the north-east for a new three-year agri-technology project being run by Opportunity North East (ONE).

The private economic development agency said the project aims to drive the adoption and development of digital technology solutions for the farming sector and the wider food and drink supply chain.

Supported by the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund, ONE will work with SAC Consulting and SAOS to deliver its agri-tech programme for future farming technology.

ONE said demonstrator farms will be used to showcase how the practical application of digital solutions in both arable and livestock farming enterprises can improve profits, help meet net-zero carbon emissions targets, and “take the drudgery out of statutory recording requirements”.

Peter Cook from Opportunity North East.

ONE’s director of food, drink and agriculture, Peter Cook, said new technology was enabling farmers to monitor and measures crops and livestock very precisely, down to square metres and individual animals.

“The demonstrator farms will try out new kit and put in place the systems to react to the data,” said Mr Cook.

“Examples include autonomous machinery, identifying crop stress early, making decisions on mapping data, spotting early signs of pneumonia, auto-shedding animals at target weights, linking performance to breeding, cutting heavy fuel use and much more.”

He added: “Being a demonstrator farm will give the business insights to all the digital options and showcase the positive impact agri-tech can have on performance.

“Ideally, we will end up with participating farms that reflect the region’s strengths in both crops and livestock.”

Any farmers in Aberdeenshire wishing to put themselves forward to become a demonstrator farm in the project are asked to contact Jim Booth at SAOS for more details via email at jim.booth@saos.coop.

An online event will also be held on January 12, 2022, for anyone interested in taking part in the project.

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