12 May 1995

Micro-beds in pipeline

GENETICALLY manipulated seed grown in micro seed-beds is a likely future development, says Graham McConnell, principal of Harper Adams Agricultural College.

Speaking at the Agricultural Engineers Association annual conference, Mr McConnell added that the cultivation equipment developed to produce these seed-beds will work with the aid of micro-electronics.

"I also see an increased role for satellites, these providing accurate crop mapping data which can be linked to tractor-mounted sensors capable of detecting disease problems in crops."

Engineers will need to build on existing micro-electronic skills to produce the equipment of the future," he added. "The role of the engineer will increasingly be at the practical end, with the electronics side increasing in importance."

&#8226 New AEA president for the year 1995/96 is Peter Baker, managing director of chainsaw manufacturing UK subsidiary Andreas Stihl, based at Camberley, Surrey.