John Deere’s new 4-track 9RX tractor© NFU

A state-of-the-art tractor took to the streets of London to show the public how farming has transformed itself into a modern, forward-thinking industry.

The NFU, the Worshipful Company of Farmers and John Deere teamed up at this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show to demonstrate how farming has adopted cutting-edge technology to develop the way it produces food.

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The display included John Deere’s new 4-track 9RX tractor – one of the first in Europe – as well as a restored John Deere model 4020 tractor.

The tractor, which was registered in 1966, towed a trailer with 3D graphics showing how farming is embracing science and technology.

Five young farmers accompanied the machines to help promote agriculture to the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the route through the City of London on Saturday (14 November).

The display came as a survey commissioned by the NFU found that the British public are split over whether farming is a high-tech industry.

The YouGov poll found that 43% of adults believe farming is high-tech, while 38% don’t, with 19% saying they were unsure.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “It’s great to see that nearly half the population recognise farming as a modern, high-tech industry, and events such as the Lord Mayor’s Show allow us to promote that to a wider audience.

“The challenge we now face is to get that message out to those people who don’t realise agriculture is at the forefront of state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology.

“We know young people are very tech-savvy and I want them to be able to see the opportunities available to use those skills as part of a career in agriculture and its allied industries to help us deliver high-quality food by developing an efficient, thriving, profitable and sustainable industry to meet the demands of a growing population.”

John Martin from the Worshipful Company of Farmers said this year’s parade offered an ideal opportunity to showcase how British agriculture had transformed itself.

“Our entry is very exciting and I can’t wait for the thousands of people watching the parade either on the streets of London or on the television to see it,” he added.