GPS steering tops readers’ poll of best farm technology

GPS steering has been voted the best recent farming innovation in a survey of technical advances to promote this weekend’s Open Farm Sunday.

Robotic milking machines took the runner-up spot, followed by smartphones.

For the survey, conducted by Farmers Weekly, readers were asked to name their favourite piece of farm technology.

When it comes to cutting edge technology, agriculture has always been at the sharp end of innovation and invention, said James Andrews, Farmers Weekly’s online machinery editor.

“For centuries, farmers have looked for ways to be as efficient as possible and as these results show, that trend is alive and well today, with new and even greater innovation on the horizon,” he added.

GPS Steering Systems have made steering straight lines across fields almost child’s play.

Before GPS it was down to the driver to keep the tractor straight to avoid using too much fertilizer or fuel.

The top 10 technologies

1. GPS Steering system (36% of votes)

2. Robot milking machines (19%)

3. Smartphones (13%)

4. Combine yield meters (5%)

5. Cow heat detection devices (5%)

6. Driverless tractors (2%)

7. Aerial Drones (2%)

8. Electronic ear tags (2%)

9. Farm management software (2%)

10. Robot livestock feeders (2%)

Today most farmers have some form of GPS steering, which means overlapping has all but disappeared, resulting in significant savings for the farmer, no doubt a key reason why farmers named it their favourite piece of farm technology.

Nearly 400 farms of all types and sizes across England, Scotland and Wales will be opening their gates for visitors to celebrate British food and farming this Sunday (8 June).

And visitors to an Open Farm Sunday event, organised by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), will see for themselves the vital role technology plays in the modern farm business – and have a chance to talk to the farmers who use it.

Many farms have displays of tractors, combine harvesters and much more and the farmers will be on hand to explain how they are used to both produce food and the part they play in caring for the environment.

To find a farm to visit near you just visit http://www.farmsunday.org/ofs12b/visit/findfarm.eb

Read also: Get your Open Farm Sunday photos in Farmers Weekly