Farmers Weekly will be at the New Scientist Live event in London next month to bust common myths about farming and bring agriculture to life for everyone interested in science and technology.
Alongside our partners, we will host the “Future of Food & Agriculture: Feeding the World Sustainably” exhibit, which aims to highlight every facet of our pioneering industry to the next generation.
About New Scientist Live
The world’s biggest festival of science and technology runs from 7-9 October at ExCeL, London.
New Scientist Live attracts thousands of people every year including career-minded science, technology, engineering and maths students.
Over the three days, visitors can get hands-on with exhibits on the show floor and be inspired by talks from more than 50 speakers across four stages.
Find out more at live.newscientist.com.
We’ll showcase agriculture’s environmental credentials and dispel the misconception that working in the industry is slow-paced, low-tech and low-skilled, and encourage new entrants to think seriously about a future in food and farming.
“Our industry is developing at a phenomenal pace using some of the most advanced technologies and sciences available.
No matter your background or particular area of interest, it offers stimulating and meaningful career paths,” says John Deere tactical marketing manager Chris Wiltshire.
Show-goers can see first-hand how science, electronics and computers are integral to modern agriculture – and that these technologies can help underpin sustainable food production.
For KWS, New Scientist Live provides a platform teach about the link between science and plant breeding.
“It allows us to engage with all age groups who are enthusiastic to learn more about plant breeding and genetics,” says breeding station manager Gill Covey.
Mindful of the challenge that the next generation faces when it comes to ensuring food security in the face of climate change and unpredictable seasonality, Innovation Agritech Group will be bringing a GrowFrame 360 model.
The system grows crops without the need for soil or sunlight, and with much lower water requirements than conventional crops.
“Vertical farming offers a sustainable diversification and succession opportunity that allows for continuous innovation and training,” says business development director Kate Brunswick.
Water-saving technology will be on display from Isah, which will be demonstrating a cross-section of a cropped field with attenuation storage and irrigation. Sensors control the water, explains Isah’s Kevin O’Grady.
“You can move the sensor to start the water pump and watch as the cloud monitoring records the moisture levels,” he says.
The system collects and recycles rainwater, and reuses nutrients and fertiliser from the topsoil to enhance crop production. Water is conserved for crop irrigation in dry periods, and stored to mitigate flooding when rainfall is high.
Representatives from We Are Land-based Engineering will be on hand to discuss the different educational pathways and careers available.
As digital media and marketing specialist Gareth Ford puts it: “If you don’t know about it, how can you choose to study it or go into it as a career?”
The lack of land-based engineers coming into the industry has a knock-on effect for farm businesses.
“We wish to change that by educating youngsters on exactly what land-based engineering is, and how they can become part of this brilliant industry,” he adds.
Agco after-sales training manager Richard Charles agrees:
“If we do nothing, then we get nothing. But if we do something, then results will start to show and more people will remember that there are exciting machines, processes and opportunities in our industry which can provide a long-term career.”
Students interested in accessing higher education courses will be able to speak to staff from the University of Essex, RAU and lead education partner Harper Adams University, which will all be bringing their message to the heart of the capital.
Visitors can also immerse themselves in a future of farming VR experience that is being developed at Harper Adams. It shows how robotic technology will be used to produce food in the future to help feed 9.8 billion people by 2050.
The university’s chief global impact officer Ian Rowley explains:
“Innovation enables us to develop practical teaching with real-world applications, from 3D technology at the Harper and Keele Veterinary School through to developing food waste into chicken feed at our School of Sustainable Food and Farming.”
Also on show…
- The University of Essex will be demonstrating crop responses to stress using a thermal imaging and fluorescence station. Visitors can play a robotic arm game that illustrates carbon dioxide-fixing by plant enzymes as well as get to analyse animal behaviour with the “Maths of Cows”.
- Harper Adams representatives will be showing how 3D printing is being used to educate students at Harper and Keele Veterinary School, and support their treatment and care of animals.
- Kuhn will be explaining the seeding process – and how a maize maze can be created using GPS – with a little help from a Maxima precision seed drill, as well as demonstrating the working parts of an Axis fertiliser spreader and control box.
- John Deere’s 8RX 410 tractor will sit alongside three farm simulator rigs for visitors to try out, including a bale stacking challenge, and they can also take part in a model tractor-building competition.
- Rothamsted scientists will be addressing the issue of methane emissions from cattle. Which cow makes the biggest burp? Visitors must take a punt on the Burpometer to find out.
The Future of Food & Agriculture: Feeding the world sustainably – meet the team
Farmers Weekly is working with these organisations to bring the Future of Food & Agriculture exhibit to New Scientist Live
Harper Adams University is our lead education partner