12 March 1999

UK leads the way

PRECISION farming is being adopted more readily in the UK than any other EU country.

Of the estimated 630 farmers or contractors using GPS-linked combine yield monitors to create yield maps in Europe last year over half were in the UK, says independent market researcher and GIS equipment developer Sky-farm of Farnborough, Hants.

Site specific P and K sampling was conducted on an estimated 200,000ha (500,000 acres) in the UK and is expected to be used on 150,000ha (370,000 acres) in Ger-many this year, the report claims.

Denmark and Sweden are using the technology to minimise environmental impacts. But France is lagging behind, it notes.

"We predict there could be 15,000 to 20,000 EU farmers using the technology by 2005," says report author Mike Pooley. But he admits that equipment developments have outpaced the ability of agronomists to make full use of the advances. &#42