Molly Biddell: The ideal piece of farmer tech – on your wrist

I made a leap into a brave new world a few weeks ago – the world of Garmin watch ownership.

I have been eyeing up these devices on the wrists of my exercise-fanatic friends and, after deliberation, decided I too want to track my every step, heartbeat and sleep phase, while playing Spotify and knowing my precise location.

See also: Molly Biddell – every farmer needs an ecologist

About the author

Molly Biddell
Molly Biddell works on her family’s farm in Surrey, in tandem with her role as head of natural capital at Knepp Estate. She previously spent time working in a research team for a rural consultancy firm, after graduating from Cambridge with a geography degree. 
Read more articles by Molly Biddell

So far so good, it’s great – I’m a fully fledged run-tracker, elevation guru, and I’m enjoying telling everyone precisely when the sun sets each day with a mere flick of the wrist.

It’s an impressively powerful piece of technology, and it made me think about how it could help me on the farm.

After some daydreaming, I’d like to present to you every farmer’s new best friend… the Farmin. So apart from the usual stuff, what else will the Farmin do?

First, it will integrate seamlessly with my farm’s mapping software so I can walk around fields and woodlands recording boundaries and points straight onto online maps.

I’d love to be able to mark soil tests and wildlife monitoring locations with a tap on the watch, and this will integrate with What3Words so I can share locations easily.

The Farmin will connect to NoFence, so I can establish geo-boundaries by walking, and see where the collared cows are with a peep at my watch.

I will be able to input data, such as soil test results, species counts and calf births, all to the precise time and place.

Perhaps we can integrate Merlin so I can identify which birds are singing where and when.

I have Find My Friends on my phone, why not Find My Farmers on the Farmin? It would save us time when we need to co-ordinate a big cow move. 

This dream list of potential uses is endless. New monitoring technology and better data collection will be critical to the success of future farming systems.

I reckon this is a corner of the market Garmin should think about diversifying into, and if anyone from Garmin’s innovation team is reading this, I’m open to collaboration…