Precision agriculture and connectivity were hot topics at the Midlands Machinery Show at the end of November, with new technology and efficiencies in the spotlight.
Farmers from across the country headed to the Newark showground last week to see the latest machinery and discuss innovative technologies in the seminar theatre.
Smart farming proved particularly popular, with John Deere and Fendt focussing on how connectivity can improve efficiencies.
“Through JDLink we connect machines to the farm office, allowing customers to track their fleet and monitor machine health, as well as transferring agronomic information straight from the field,” says Jack Howard, precision agriculture specialist at John Deere.
“We’re trying to maximise time in the field; we had a good selection of agricultural students and discussion about connectivity from both a customer and dealer point of view.”
There are benefits on the agronomy side too, he adds. “The latest apps make it very easy to keep track of machinery, get advice on seed, spray and fertiliser rates and monitor machine productivity by working together with, and being connected to, the dealer, farm adviser and other suppliers.”
Fendt discussed smart farming as another way to improve efficiencies and brought along its FendtONE system which offers integrated connectivity between the office and the machines, merging them into a single operation unit.
With around 300 exhibitors there was plenty for visitors to see, and the new ride and drive feature attracted a lot of attention alongside the live demo area, says event manager Elizabeth Halsall. “Feedback from visitors was very positive with a full range of tractors and machinery in action and a friendly environment in which to do business.”
Among the highlights from the show were the Agricultural Engineering Awards, which were presented to six promising young apprentices. “Every winner received an award of £500, which they each plan to spend on specialist tools to help them throughout their careers,” says Mrs Halsall. “It’s wonderful to recognise excellence in the upcoming generation, and to give them a helping hand for the future.”