Precision farming on the rise

ADVANCES IN technology across the industry have led to a rise in the use of precision farming technology, according to one systems provider.

“We are experiencing growing demand on all aspects of precision farming from guidance systems to variable rate fertiliser application,” said Simon Parrington, Soyl managing director.

Improved compatibility of precision farming systems across different companies was a major factor in the increased uptake, he said.

“Cross compliance means more and more growers will now be looking at precision farming technology in detail,” he added.

The comments follow the launch of Soyl‘s latest product – Soylsense – at the Smithfield show earlier this month (Dec 2-5).

The product uses satellite technology to generate a leaf area index map of individual fields, which growers can access over the internet, Mr Parrington explained.

This information can then be used to provide a “suggested application map” for nitrogen fertiliser applications and is compatible with most variable rate application systems, he said.

The Soylsense service costs £2.50/acre (£6.18/ha), but this could be more than offset by the potential savings, he said.

“Optimising nitrogen rates and cutting back on applications where they are not needed could result in a gross margin improvement of £15-22/ha (£6-9/acre),” he said.

Initial orders for some 10,000ha have already been placed for next spring, he noted.

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