Farming Monthly National https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk UK Farming Magazine & Agricultural News Fri, 04 Sep 2020 22:05:30 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 What Do Drone IP Rating Standards Mean for the Agricultural Sector? https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/arable/drones/11311-what-do-drone-ip-rating-standards-mean-for-the-agricultural-sector/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/arable/drones/11311-what-do-drone-ip-rating-standards-mean-for-the-agricultural-sector/#respond Tue, 01 Sep 2020 21:53:00 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11311 The drone market has experienced significant growth in recent years.  And as both hobbyist and professional users alike take great interest in exploring the capabilities these devices have to offer, this growth is set to continue, with a huge 76,000 drones projected to be flying the UK skies by 2030, according to Skies without Limits, […]

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p2i agricultural drone

The drone market has experienced significant growth in recent years.  And as both hobbyist and professional users alike take great interest in exploring the capabilities these devices have to offer, this growth is set to continue, with a huge 76,000 drones projected to be flying the UK skies by 2030, according to Skies without Limits, a 2018 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

When it comes to commercial applications, drone usage is still in its infancy but in many markets it is growing fast. Agriculture is a case in point. Prescient & Strategic Intelligence (P&S Intelligence) recently projected that the agricultural drones market would grow from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $6.2 billion in 2024, experiencing a 25.0% CAGR during 2019–2024 (forecast period).

The summary of the P&S Intelligence’s 2019 Agricultural Drones Market report, goes on to state: “crop spraying was the largest category in 2018, based on application, owing to the rising prevalence of fungal plant diseases caused by the Verticillium and Rhizoctonia fungi, which are spread by bollworm and flat armyworm. As these diseases destroy the yield, the agrarian community is deploying drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), to kill the pathogen.” 

Drones are increasingly widely used by farmers to help enhance the yield by providing real-time images of crop growth and analysis of health, soil and field quality. Agriculture is after all one of the fastest growing markets for commercial drones today. As they are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, they are widely seen as offering the potential to achieve a fast return on investment (RoI). They can also be used to help locate areas affected by botanical disease. In addition they can be leveraged in the battle against pests. Recent reports indicate that the Maharashtra state government in India plans to use drones to spray insecticides on locust swarms, which have been blamed for damaging vegetables on some farms.

The need for reliability

Currently, reliability remains the biggest obstacle to the widespread deployment of drones in an agricultural setting. A lack of reliability may lead to the loss of the drone, reduced customer satisfaction, significant damage to brand reputation, or a combination of all three.

For governments and administrative authorities, a lack of reliability also represents a danger to the general public from drones crashing out of the sky. The approach taken therefore is typically prudent and cautious.

Standards development and operating constraints

In line with this, as the use of drones is rolled out across agricultural sectors, the evolution of standards and regulations will be key to their success. Moving forwards, operators will need to attain licences to fly some drones but, as we have already seen, the use of drones in an agricultural sector is relatively new and the working methodologies are still emerging, so standards development remains in its earliest stages. Legislation around drone use is beginning to come on stream, however.

In June 2019, the EU published a package of regulations relating to unmanned aircraft systems use, which included certification for certain types of drones and their operators to ensure the safety of individuals. These come into effect in July 2020. Part of these regulations require operators to understand how meteorology impacts drone use and be familiar with IP Ratings. It is likely that in terms of IPX ratings (for water protection), agricultural teams will have little knowledge around what each rating indicates – at least at the outset.

In general terms, the IP Code, or Ingress Protection Code, IEC standard 60529 classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against, dust, intrusion, accidental contact, water and moisture. The first digit refers to solid particle protection, e.g. dust; the second refers to liquid ingress protection, e.g. rain. Additional letters may also be used. The use of the letter, M, for example, indicates the device was moving during the water test, e.g. the drone propellers were in motion.

What operators need to do

In line with evolving standards, operators need to consider reliability of the equipment and the constraints caused by wet weather conditions. They will need to ensure that if a drone has to land at any point, water intrusion is kept to a minimum to reduce damage to important components.

Many will already have this level of awareness. Yet, the likelihood is that they will have little understanding of what IP rating they will need in order to provide a sensible level of protection whatever the meteorological conditions.

They will not typically appreciate the granularity that goes between ‘not protected at all’ and ‘fully water-protected’. Most will not fully comprehend the nuances between the levels, so, once again there is a need for a process of education to be put in place.

As operators go to manufacture drones, they will need to understand what can be done in terms of water protection at each IP rating. They will also need to know if the IPX rating they have chosen for their drone will be suitable for the task they are going to undertake. The reality is that they won’t necessarily need IPX8 (full immersion). In fact IPX4 or IPX5 is typically enough to give rain protection.

How can providers help?

So how can providers play a role in educating drone users across the agricultural market about the prevailing IPX ratings? They need to help them to understand what is the IP rating of the drone; how long that rating is expected to last and also what would compromise it, e.g. water protection achieved by the use of mechanical seals may be jeopardised by physical impact, but also usually degrades over time.

Providers can help ensure the reliability but also the protection of the drone. Solutions should last the lifetime of the device. But equally as essential, if a drone is damaged then solutions should be easily reworkable. For example, thick conformal coatings can make repairability impossible by covering connectors. However, the use of modern nano coating technology not only ensures lifetime protection of the drone but also allows manufacturers to produce devices which are fully reworkable. Nano coatings protect PCBs and even whole devices from the inside out and eliminate the need for bulky mechanical seals which might make a drone difficult or unsafe to open.

Finally, providers can also make drones robust against changing weather conditions. They can help operators protect the drones if they are caught out in rain, so their capital outlay is not lost if they get into contact with water unexpectedly. This kind of service will help drone operators to deliver the services farmers are looking for in rain or challenging weather conditions, which gives them an edge over the competition, who may not be able to achieve that, and a key point of differentiation as they forge ahead into a fast-expanding new marketplace.

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UK Agricultural Finance continues to lend https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/farm-finance/11289-uk-agricultural-finance-continues-to-lend/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/farm-finance/11289-uk-agricultural-finance-continues-to-lend/#respond Thu, 14 May 2020 08:27:13 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11289 The first few months of the year have been a busy time, with increasing numbers of enquiries after the uncertainty around the election. Unlike other lenders, UKAF has kept writing loans during the lockdown, thanks to secure funding lines across its bridge and term products, supported by a rapid move to remote working. UKAF and […]

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The first few months of the year have been a busy time, with increasing numbers of enquiries after the uncertainty around the election. Unlike other lenders, UKAF has kept writing loans during the lockdown, thanks to secure funding lines across its bridge and term products, supported by a rapid move to remote working.

UKAF and the industry have faced the challenge of finding valuers to visit properties, but the team’s ability to lend against agricultural land allows for more flexibility in what is valued, and the nature of farmland and buildings making social distancing much easier to maintain. Indeed, some loans are proceeding based on a mix of a Red Book valuation on the land and barns, but an estimate on the farmhouse.

The team recently completed a loan of £260,000 helping a mixed farm in north England whose main long-term lender would not offer them any flexibility, without disproportionately high penalty charges and two current account providers that were both pulling out of the agricultural market. The borrowers own a substantial farm with acreage and woodland, tenanted cottages and had a good track record of servicing their debt, plus 400 cattle and around 2,000 sheep. UKAF was able to design the loan for a 38% LTV (with an associated attractive interest rate) by persuading the main lender to release part of their security over a couple of fields for UKAF’s first charge, topped up with a second charge against the remainder of the farm. Despite the Covid-19 uncertainty, UKAF has maintained its constructive approach to providing loans, all without changing its lending criteria, since its own investors understand the long-term, attractive nature of farming.

Louise Old, head of businesses development in the North East and Scotland, commented: “We are thrilled to be able to assist our clients during lockdown and is testament to our commitment to help the rural and agricultural communities across England Scotland and Wales and our ability to commit capital to new loans during these challenging times.”

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Trade association urges Chancellor to halt Fuel Duty increase on Red Diesel https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11266-trade-association-urges-chancellor-to-halt-fuel-duty-increase-on-red-diesel/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11266-trade-association-urges-chancellor-to-halt-fuel-duty-increase-on-red-diesel/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2020 21:21:17 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11266 Liquid fuels trade association, UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reconsider the rumoured increase to fuel duty on red diesel in the forthcoming budget, as it will have a major impact on the construction and farming industries.  Red Diesel is used by the construction, farming and marine industries […]

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Liquid fuels trade association, UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) is urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to reconsider the rumoured increase to fuel duty on red diesel in the forthcoming budget, as it will have a major impact on the construction and farming industries. 

Red Diesel is used by the construction, farming and marine industries and accounts for 15% of all diesel sales in the UK. Any increase in fuel duty will have a major impact on UKIFDA Members and their customers and could see the cost of red diesel significantly increase, potentially increasing costs to farmers and construction companies.

The cost of construction projects could potentially increase by hundreds of millions – particularly large-scale construction projects where one project may be using up to 100,000 litres of red diesel a week. As a result, this could impact the viability of such projects.

The farming industry will also be affected at a time when many are struggling with flooded land and are already worried about 2020 crops. Again, any increase will have to be passed onto consumers.

We urge the Chancellor to reconsider and leave the fuel rebate – put in place to encourage and support the farming community in the 1960s – in place.

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Update on farm payment schemes https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11265-update-on-farm-payment-schemes/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11265-update-on-farm-payment-schemes/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2020 21:07:39 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11265 The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has now paid almost 99% of eligible farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS 2020). The latest figures from the RPA show that BPS payments worth £1.76 billion were made to farmers by 29 February. This is an improved position on last year, with 1.4% more customers paid by the […]

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The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has now paid almost 99% of eligible farmers under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS 2020).

The latest figures from the RPA show that BPS payments worth £1.76 billion were made to farmers by 29 February. This is an improved position on last year, with 1.4% more customers paid by the end of February 2020 compared with the end of February 2019.

By 29 February, over £150 million was paid out to farmers who do important environmental work through Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES), such as restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands – more than two and a half times the value in the previous year.

Final full payments for stewardship schemes have started to arrive with customers four months earlier than last year, with customers receiving one full revenue payment for the first time as part of a wider improvement plan to deliver a better service to customers.

77% of eligible farmers and land managers have received their full Environmental Stewardship (ES) claim, worth a total of £133 million. 37% of eligible Countryside Stewardship (CS) customers have been paid their full claim, compared with 19.5% customers who had been paid 75% of their claim this time last year.

RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:

“We fully understand how important it is to farmers and land managers that they receive prompt payments in full.

“That is why as part of our continuous work to improve these schemes, we are making Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship payments to farmers in full this year, meaning more farmers receive their total payment earlier in the window.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure remaining payments are made as quickly as possible.”

Customers should expect to receive their full payments by the end of the payment window in June 2020.

The application window for this year’s simplified Countryside Stewardship scheme is currently open and farmers and land managers with an ES or CS agreement expiring this year can sign up now for a new agreement to start in 2021.

The government is urging farmers who are new to stewardship, or who have an expiring agreement, to enter into a new CS agreement so they can continue delivering benefits on their land, making a difference to the environment now by joining an improving and expanding scheme. Those who sign up to CS who wish to enter the new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be able to leave their agreements at agreed exit points, without penalty.

The application window for BPS 2020 will open in March and the RPA encourages all claimants to submit their applications as soon as they are able to. The level of funding available for BPS Direct Payments for 2020 will be the same as for 2019, with the rates for payments to be confirmed later this year.

The claim window for customers with existing CS and ES revenue agreements will also open in March and customers are encouraged to submit their claim for 2020 payment as soon as they are able to and ahead of the 15 May deadline. 

Payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer so farmers should make sure the RPA has the most up-to-date account details on the Rural Payments service.

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Celebrate With Us at The StowAg Show https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/shows-events/11229-celebrate-with-us-at-the-stowag-show/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/shows-events/11229-celebrate-with-us-at-the-stowag-show/#respond Wed, 11 Sep 2019 13:59:58 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11229 The StowAg Show will mark 50 years of proudly being “the experts in your field” and you are warmly invited to attend. The show, which will be their biggest event yet, will be a day of celebration held at the StowAg headquarters in Longborough in the heart of the Cotswolds. Featuring many of StowAg’s leading […]

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The StowAg Show will mark 50 years of proudly being “the experts in your field” and you are warmly invited to attend. The show, which will be their biggest event yet, will be a day of celebration held at the StowAg headquarters in Longborough in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Featuring many of StowAg’s leading suppliers and manufacturers, the day will provide veterinary talks, product and live-animal demonstrations in addition to showcasing new product lines – with some exclusive discounts and prize giveaways. This will be a day for the whole family to enjoy with plenty of children’s activities and face painting in aid of R.A.B.I. To tempt the taste buds, StowAg have complimentary locally produced food and drink including StowAg’s own ale courtesy of Donnington Brewery!

Ashley Nichols, General Manager, is “delighted to be celebrating this special milestone for StowAg with such an exciting, and large, event! We look forward to meeting so many of our existing and potential customers, with their families, and support them with expertise, advice and solutions for their business.”

The day will begin at 9.30am and is free to attend, with ample parking and free food and drink! Whilst pre-registration is not essential, StowAg would love to hear if you can make it. Visit the website – www.stowag.com, call the StowAg team on 01451 830 400 or email marketing@stowag.com

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Scottish cereal farmers call for spring barley competition https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/arable/11196-scottish-cereal-farmers-call-for-spring-barley-competition/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/arable/11196-scottish-cereal-farmers-call-for-spring-barley-competition/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:46:07 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11196 Scottish cereal growers are working with ADAS on adding a new spring barley category to the national yield competition– the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN). At the inaugural meeting of the Scottish YEN Growers Group – funded and facilitated by AHDB – the members discussed how a new spring barley category, which focused on grain quality […]

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Scottish YEN Growers

Scottish cereal growers are working with ADAS on adding a new spring barley category to the national yield competition– the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN).

At the inaugural meeting of the Scottish YEN Growers Group – funded and facilitated by AHDB – the members discussed how a new spring barley category, which focused on grain quality as well as yield, would give them a better understanding of the crop, and get more Scottish growers taking on YEN.

Scottish Group Chair, Aberdeenshire farmer, Peter Chapman explains: “We’ve really gotten a lot out of YEN over the past few years, you get such detailed information on the crop you are growing that you are then able to make changes to your management which results in genuine improvements to yield.

“However, I know that up here a category dedicated to spring barley would allow us to make even bigger improvements both in terms of yield and grain quality.”

As well as in depth technical support and free soil and grain testing, farmers taking part in the YEN can also enter the national competition which awards prizes not just for the highest yield but to those farmers getting closest to their own farm’s yield potential.

However currently the competition is dominated by winter wheat and therefore the potential yield model used is not as suitable for barley crops, particularly spring barley. For this reason ADAS is now looking for funding to create an entirely new YEN category for spring barley, which will produce more relevant data, and also have a focus on grain quality, something which is vital for farmers who grow for malting.

Sarah Kendall explains: “Spring barley is a very different crop to winter wheat, for example its growth period is shorter, the harvest index is different and so is the amount of light and water available to the crop.

“That means to really understand the factors that go into a high yielding barley crop we need a different model, and we need to separate spring barley data so that farmers can benchmark their crop with other spring barley crops across the UK and thereby identify where they can improve.”

For AHDB Senior Arable Knowledge Exchange Manager Claire Hodge the drive for a new spring barley category demonstrates just how determined many Scottish growers are to increase their yields through a better understanding of crop development and management.

She says: “We’re looking forward to working with them as its projects like YEN which help AHDB to identify and share best practice and encourage growers to scrutinise everything they do on farm, both of which are crucial in the drive to increase productivity.”

Scottish growers have been taking home prizes at YEN for a number of years and had their best year yet in 2018 when they bagged two golds, one silver and one bronze, while Jamie Leslie (one of the gold winners) also took home the Innovation Award for improving his barley yields on Shetland by 40%.

It’s thanks to this success that the Scottish YEN Growers Group has been formed, consisting of farmers competing in YEN, agronomists supporting the competition, and representatives from AHDB and ADAS.

Registration for YEN 2019 is now open, more information can be found at www.yen.adas.co.uk

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AHDB Meat and Dairy to attend Gulfood in Dubai https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11195-ahdb-meat-and-dairy-to-attend-gulfood-in-dubai/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/business/11195-ahdb-meat-and-dairy-to-attend-gulfood-in-dubai/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:40:51 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11195 Meat and dairy from the UK will be in the spotlight this month at one of the world’s biggest annual food and beverage trade shows held in Dubai. Thousands of visitors from around the world will get to sample a selection of cheese and lamb from the UK at the 24th edition of Gulfood – […]

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Meat and dairy from the UK will be in the spotlight this month at one of the world’s biggest annual food and beverage trade shows held in Dubai.

Thousands of visitors from around the world will get to sample a selection of cheese and lamb from the UK at the 24th edition of Gulfood – which runs from February 17 to 21 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will once again host its meat and dairy pavilions within their respective halls. Spanning more than a million square feet of food and beverage products and showcases, Gulfood is expected to welcome 98,000 attendees from 193 countries during the five days.

The event will house more than 5,000 exhibitors and 120 country pavilions – displaying products from across eight primary market sectors.

AHDB Senior Export Manager for Dairy Lucy Randolph said: “This is the third year that we have showcased dairy at Gulfood and we are delighted to be returning once again as it’s a key vehicle to help boost our exports.

“At this year’s event, AHDB will be joined by ten producers from the UK who will have the opportunity to exhibit their products on a world-wide platform and meet with potential new customers to help grow their sales overseas.”

The producers joining AHDB include The Fine Cheese Company, Singleton’s Dairy, Somerdale, Coombe Castle, Fayrefield Foods, Rachel’s Dairy, Calon Wen, Daioni Organic, Llaethy Llan and Dairy Partners UK.

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Breakthrough in sustainable diesel production https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/farming-environment/renewables/11193-breakthrough-in-sustainable-diesel-production/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/farming-environment/renewables/11193-breakthrough-in-sustainable-diesel-production/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 12:36:42 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11193 A new technology that converts biogas into a high-grade liquid fuel that can be used as a direct replacement for fossil fuels is being showcased for the first time at Alliance Dairies in Florida on February 18, 2019. The process developed by UK-based technology company Renovare Fuels, allows biogas from waste material to be used […]

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Renovare CTO Devin Walker, standing in front of Renovare’s Demo Unit

A new technology that converts biogas into a high-grade liquid fuel that can be used as a direct replacement for fossil fuels is being showcased for the first time at Alliance Dairies in Florida on February 18, 2019. The process developed by UK-based technology company Renovare Fuels, allows biogas from waste material to be used as a direct replacement for traditional fossil fuels, with the potential to displace billions of litres of fossil fuel each year.

During this period, Renovare Fuels will demonstrate its self-sustaining, carbon neutral process of fuel production and explain how its technology could provide a practical solution to the growing problem of greenhouse gases. The production process is carbon neutral and the entire logistics supply chain may create a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels.

“There has been a significant push to recycle plastic and paper products over the past two decades, but we aren’t seeing the same push to reuse biodegradable waste like food-waste and agricultural materials,” explained Devin Walker, CTO at Renovare Fuels. “That leaves a lot of potential fuel sources lying in landfills. Processes like anaerobic digestion (AD) can be used to produce fuels, but the overall process hasn’t previously been particularly efficient.

“By using a specially developed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalyst and advanced process engineering techniques, Renovare Fuels’ technology can efficiently turn biogas into middle distillate fuel. The feedstock is sourced locally to the site and classified as a waste product, so the production cycle is objectively carbon neutral.

“We estimated using the greenhouse gas methodology in the EU’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) that the entire logistical supply chain, from feedstock collection to storage and refuelling, would produce only three grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of biomass. This is only three per cent of the 94 g it would be using fossil fuels.”

The abundance of waste products means that the production of the biodiesel promises a low-cost sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Renovare Fuels believes that the fuel could be priced at under 50 pence per litre in a quantity that could reshape the energy sector.

“In 2016, DEFRA reported that 31.8 MM tons of biodegradable waste is produced each year in the UK,” continued Walker. “Based on this figure, we estimate that our technology and the resultant fuel could displace over two billion litres of fossil fuels annually. This would lower greenhouse gas emissions by around five million tonnes per year.”

The fuel produced using Renovare Fuels’ technology is distinct from typical biodiesel products in that it is physically and chemically similar to conventional fossil fuels. This allows it to be used in engines without requiring design modifications and also means it does not require blending with unsustainable fuels.

Renovare Fuels’ technology was developed at the University of South Florida in conjunction with NASA and the US Department of Energy. The technology previously proved successful in converting biogas into usable diesel during a trial at a US landfill in 2017.

In October 2018, Renovare Fuels was awarded Innovate UK support for aviation fuel testing through the Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Clean Growth programme in Sheffield.

To witness Renovare Fuels’ breakthrough process in action, contact Renovare Fuels at info@renovare-fuels.co.uk for details of on-site demonstration invitations. For further information on the technology and the sustainable liquid fuel it produces, visit the Renovare Fuels website at www.renovare-fuels.co.uk

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Saturn Bioponics at Fruit Logistica https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/shows-events/11188-saturn-bioponics-at-fruit-logistica/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/news/shows-events/11188-saturn-bioponics-at-fruit-logistica/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2019 14:31:21 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11188 Growers looking to get better yield and quality with lower costs of production through hydroponic science are encouraged to pass by the Saturn Bioponics stand at Fruit Logistica. Optimising crop growing using advanced hydroponic technology with a rapid payback is the way forward, according to company CEO, Alex Fisher. “We focus on crop nutrition strategy […]

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Alex Fisher, CEO Saturn Bioponics

Growers looking to get better yield and quality with lower costs of production through hydroponic science are encouraged to pass by the Saturn Bioponics stand at Fruit Logistica.

Optimising crop growing using advanced hydroponic technology with a rapid payback is the way forward, according to company CEO, Alex Fisher.

“We focus on crop nutrition strategy and know-how applied to specific crop systems,” he says.

“Saturn have significant experience in lettuce, strawberries, pak choi, herbs and some non-food crops, but we are essentially ‘crop agnostic’ – it just has to make sense scientifically and commercially.

“We are able to deliver the hydroponic science straight into the farm, ensuring optimal cultivation strategies throughout the plants’ lifecycle. This helps farmers achieve consistent high quality crops with greater predictability and profitability.”

Saturn Bioponics’ main focus at the show will be the Saturn Grower 3D tower system suitable for growing crops as diverse as basil and strawberries in greenhouses.

Towers, or ‘columns’ as Fisher calls them, vary in density per square meter and planting sites number per level, delivering overall planting densities of between 215,000 and 750,000 planting sites per hectare.

Benefits include increased production efficiency, improved quality and safety, enhanced labour productivity and low environmental impact says Alex Fisher, CEO of Saturn Bioponics.

Their hydroponic expertise and simple, crop-led approach to hardware for intensive growing of fruit and vegetables, are fast gaining a first-class reputation with some of the top growers in the world.

Visit Saturn Bioponics in Hall 8.1, Stand B25 at Fruit Logistica and find out how they could help you too!

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EU bans prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11179-eu-bans-prophylactic-use-of-antibiotics-in-farming/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11179-eu-bans-prophylactic-use-of-antibiotics-in-farming/#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 15:07:21 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11179 The European Parliament has today (25 October 2018) approved new legislation to come into force in 2022, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming. Preventative antibiotics can be routinely given to farm animals – particularly to pigs and poultry – to compensate for the substandard living conditions where disease outbreaks are common and harder […]

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antibiotics in farming

The European Parliament has today (25 October 2018) approved new legislation to come into force in 2022, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming.

Preventative antibiotics can be routinely given to farm animals – particularly to pigs and poultry – to compensate for the substandard living conditions where disease outbreaks are common and harder to control, and to prevent infection, for example in the early weaning of pigs.

Estimates suggest that in Europe two thirds of our antibiotics are used on livestock animals [1]. The overuse of antibiotics has become a growing concern as there is strong evidence to suggest that it has contributed to an increase in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can spread to people, rendering antibiotics ineffective for both humans and animals.

According to the latest estimates, 73% of the world’s antibiotics are used in farming [2] and the EU’s position on farm antibiotic use is now largely consistent with that of the World Health Organization, which last year produced guidelines on farm antibiotic use [3]. The WHO called for an end to preventative group treatments and for severe restrictions on the use of certain antibiotics classified as high-priority critically important in human medicine.

This new legislation is a huge step away from preventative group treatments of healthy animals towards a more responsible use of antibiotics in livestock farming.

Preventative antibiotic treatments for individual animals will still be permitted in exceptional circumstances where the risk of disease is high. Group treatments will also be allowed if disease has been diagnosed in some of the animals and there is a high risk it will spread to others, and no alternative treatments are available.

The new EU legislation still needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers, but provisional approval by the Council was given earlier this year.

Compassion in World Farming has been working with the food industry to encourage the adoption of farming practices that prioritise animal health and welfare, reducing the need for antibiotics to be routinely used. Making improvements to production systems – such as the lowering of stocking density and using more robust breeds – are essential to significantly lower or remove the need for, antibiotics.

For example, recent data from the Netherlands (2016) showed that market concepts using slower growing broiler breeds used more than 3 times less antibiotics than those using fast growing breeds.

Compassion has developed an Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (ASP) to encourage companies to adopt a roadmap for responsible antibiotic use with the aim of eliminating or robustly regulating the use of antimicrobials.

Ines Ajuda, Research Manager, Food Business at Compassion adds: “By operating a higher welfare system – underpinned by good management and good welfare – any company with animals in its supply chain can reduce or totally remove its reliance on antibiotics.

The responsible use of antibiotics is a key element of corporate responsibility and an effective ASP is vital to protect animal health and welfare today and maintain the efficacy of our antibiotics into the future. We welcome the new EU legislation.”

This landmark legislation will only come into force in 2022, post-Brexit, and Michael Gove MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that during the negotiations over the regulations, the UK “did voice concerns about the restriction of prophylaxis to individual animals” [4].

The Government says it intends to implement the provisions of the new legislation, but refuses to accept that the EU legislation bans preventative group treatments [4][5]. The Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate claimed, incorrectly, that the legislation is ambiguous and does not restrict the administration preventative treatments to individual animals [6]. Michael Gove said that the Government will “work constructively with stakeholders to agree how these restrictions can be implemented in practice” [4], which suggests that there is no guarantee the UK will in practice ban preventative group treatments.

Cóilín Nunan, Campaign Manager for the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics with whom Compassion has been working warns: “The Government must commit to banning preventative group treatments. The latest data shows that the UK farming industry is making good progress in reducing its antibiotic use, and the poultry industry has even voluntarily banned group prevention. If the government rejects the EU ban, the UK could end up with some of the weakest regulatory standards in Europe, which will raise questions about the kinds of trade deals we will be seeking with non-EU countries that often use much higher levels of antibiotics in farming. Importing low-quality meat produced with high levels of antibiotics will inevitably undermine UK progress.”

Compassion urges UK farmers to adopt an ASP that future proofs their operation regardless of what happens post Brexit but importantly maintains the efficacy of our antibiotics into the future too. To download Compassion’s advice on how to develop an effective Antibiotic Stewardship Programme visit www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com

 

 

[1]          https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4872
[2]          https://cddep.org/blog/posts/global-plan-cut-antimicrobial-use-animals/
[3]          http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/07-11-2017-stop-using-antibiotics-in-healthy-animals-to-prevent-the-spread-of-antibiotic-resistance
[4]          Letter from Michael Gove MP to Zac Goldsmith MP, October 2018
[5]          https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-08/176052/
[6]          Veterinary Medicines Directorate Stakeholder meeting, July 2018

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