23 November 2001

TAMING TECHNOLOGY

HOW farming businesses across the country can profit directly from information technology will be one of the key areas covered at AgriVision.

Through a range of up-to-the-minute seminar sessions and a strong IT industry presence, visitors will be provided with business-based ideas and solutions for tackling the real farming issues.

Andy Offer, head of group development at ADAS will talk in detail on how to maximise business potential with IT in the "Taming the Technology" seminar session, sponsored and chaired by Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency.

Andy says, "Keep it simple and get back to the basics. I take the view that technology needs to deliver value – if it does it will get used, if it does not it wont."

He will look at products that help to keep accounts, manage livestock and cropping records, how to access, manipulate and present information, and also how IT communication can help to drive businesses forward.

Specific livestock IT and on-line trading will be explored by Shearwell Data. They will be outlining the benefits of their internet livestock trading site, the National Livestock Management Database (NLMD), which is due to be launched this autumn. Shearwell will also cover the importance of the exchange of accurate information.

The latest in Arable IT research and development will be discussed by Paul Miller, Project Director and Head of the Process Engineering Division at the Silsoe Research Institute. Dr Miller will focus on precision farming; how to achieve real benefits with a modest level of input and taking into account the inevitable changes to farm management systems. He will be looking at cost savings on inputs while maintaining high levels of weed, disease and insect control as well as improved IT methods of traceability.

As well as its IT seminar programme, AgriVision will feature several leading UK information technology companies. Farmplan Computer Systems, Muddy Boots Software, Landmark Systems and Farmade Management systems, among others, will be present with a full range of farm business management software.

Keeping it simple is the focus of the new ABC Quickplanner – the result of a collaboration between Andersons Farm Business Consultants, Farmers Weekly Interactive and Farmplan Computer Systems. Andersons staff will be on hand at the Farmers Weekly stand to run through this simple and effective budgeting tool.

Lantra, meanwhile, will have a striking presence with its Learndirect initiative. Its stand will include the mobile learning centre bus, which is fitted with computer workstations to teach basic computer communication skills through to the use of databases and farm accounts.